It’s Now A Bigger Echo

April 12, 2015

I know I have been MIA for a while, I have been clearing, cleaning, sorting, packing and  disposing my parents’ things at long last.  I have been focusing my attention and energy on it, not much left for other things.  Last week was quite busy and tiring, but now we have a lot of empty space in three rooms.  I have been sorting in preparation of the young meant who came Tuesday to pack up things for Candy, the rest is going to a good home – someone from my Breakfast Group.  Thursday Lisa came for the grandfather clock, she is really excited to have it.  The grandmother clock is going to Melody when ever she is able to come for it.

When I had 2 different estate sale people come, I found myself quite emotional about it.  they both suggested I leave and have someone else do it.  Well, there was only me, but I found I didn’t have the emotion when they left.  The two brothers who came were enjoyable and friendly, fun to work with and it worked out well for all of us.  After they left, I found the cable wasn’t working, so I spent an hour and a half with Direct TV to figure out what was wrong.  We finally determined the cable was routed through the VCR, however, the VCR went with everything else.  So with Jen’s help, I plugged things in, unplugged a couple of things and finally had a picture.

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Our own wing chairs

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What you see when you come through the kitchen.

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Nowhere to sit in front of the bookcase.

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The sofa table works fine for the tv.

Unfortunately it was a bit snowy.  We kept trying things to clear it up – I had it once but didn’t know how I did it.  It still thinks it is going through the VCR and I was finally able to understand what button I pushed for a clear picture.  We have an old tv, there isn’t anywhere to plug in the cable.  Now it is working but in the lower left hand corner it shows VCR.  I can live with that.

The brothers brought up 2 of our wing chairs and our sofa table for the tv.  One did say he was wondering what we were going to sit on.  I also asked them to bring up one of the book shelves to put in the office.  They put almost everything in – there were a few things of Candy’s that didn’t fit in the truck.  Steve came by on Thursday and took them.

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Looks a bit odd to see all the book shelves

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Still bits and pieces to find homes for.

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Blue chairs i gone – used to be green.

We have empty space in the living room and now our new dining table is in place.  We have empty space in Mom’s room and also in the office.  I’ve had a sore shoulder a lot of the time, but on the whole I have done very well.  I am amazed and delighted I have been able to do as much as I have and Eddie has done so much too.  We have also filled the recycle wheelie bin until there is no room – thank goodness Tuesday is recycle pick up.  When it is empty, we have so much more to fill it again.

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Our new dining table.  Eddie working on his Report – it has been a really bugger this month.

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Mom’s room  is cleared on one side – won’t dare show the other part yet.

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The two desks in the office are gone.  I am going to build a desk for myself, then Eddie can have his back.

I will say, I am tired and sometimes I think I am too tired to sleep.  I have had some trouble sleeping and my lower back and legs have been uncomfortable – so far no flare-up.   No doubt it is all the bending and lifting that has done it.  Now I need to sort out the hooking things for the lady in Nova Scotia.  I have the room now.

I am hoping to have the living room painted and the floors cleaned and polish – not sure how much will actually happen.  I want it to be our home when we have Mom’s Celebration of Life.

I will take some pictures and put them in this post to show what we have done so far.

I Hear An Echo Here

March 22, 2015

After a long down, it is feels so good to have  some interest and energy for a change.  This last week has been  unusual, but a lot has been accomplished.  We can see a difference as well.   I have been able to start things moving to clear some things out of the house.  Brigh came by Thursday afternoon to take furniture on consignment – we’ll see how it works.  He as a friend who is interested in some things as well, so that should help empty things out a bit.  As a matter of fact, we now have a big empty space in the living room so we can have our new dining set delivered – it will seem odd to have 2 tables and chairs but that won’t last too long.

We have been finding homes for things – I feel as if I am adopting out kittens.  Eddie is definitely happy to see the empty space.  He dropped off several bags of books to open up some space as well.   There is still a long way to go, but there is definitely progress.  I am finding I have no problem saying goodbye to things, I am not emotionally attached to them as much.  Maybe because I know the things have homes to go to and will be appreciated.  If we had an estate sale, we would lose money on it for all the effort and work it would take.

After 2 or 3 days of being tired physically, I was mentally tired on Friday.  I went in for my One to One to work on my podcasts.  We at least have it showing up on its but not playing – I was there with Rhys for 2 hours and at the moment we are at a standstill.  I need to finish putting the podcasts on the blog so they can at least be heard there – until I can find a platform to store the mp3s, it won’t be on iTunes for a while.  If you check out findingthegifts.wordpress.com you can hear the ones I have  finished.  They are not in order, so they skip around on dates.  I plan to have them in order, 1st show to last.  I also need to do a little work on the site itself, not all that pleased with the theme for it.

Wednesday I went to Breakfast Club and then met Char for an outing at U Village.  We have been talking about it, I am the one who couldn’t get her act together.  Then I didn’t sleep well the night before, so I was draggy and not the best company.  Char and I are such good and long time friends that we are glad to spend time together no matter what is happening.  We both understand each other and our situations – sometimes it me, sometimes it’s her and sometimes both of us.  Usually we are both doing well and it works out really well.  Char is so good for me and I am so glad we had our outing.

I decided it was time to set a date for Mom’s Celebration of Life open house – it is going to be on June 14th from 1 – 4 p.m.  It’s a Sunday and I hope we will be able to paint in time for it.  There will be a cake from Robbie and mostly finger foods to make it easier for people.  I am hoping for a sunny day so we can use the yard and the back porch.  Other than that, I haven’t planned anything else.  I will invite the neighbors, the domino ladies,  my Breakfast Group who knew Mom  – not sure who else is left.

The oddest thing is happening, I have hot flashes again.  Why is a mystery.  I can deal with them during the day, but the ones at night make it hard for me to sleep well.  Last night I woke up several times with them, not conducive to a good night’s rest.  I’m 68 for Heaven’s sake – will this happen every few years?  Give me a break!

I’m not the only feeling a little screwy – the plants and flowers seem to be confused.  The early bloomers are later and the later ones flowered early.  The camellias are fully in bloom and dropping flowers all over.  Jorge and his crew came on Friday and did the yard – next thing you know, the camellias dropped more on the lawn.  The blueberries are beginning to bloom and so it the red pear tree – the other pear and the apple tree are just showing buds.   It is beautiful to see all the flowers blooming – we have had rain and wind, so I hope we don’t lose blossoms that will produce fruit.

As long I work on keeping calm, relaxed and at peace with things feel so mixed up, I will be fine.  This may be the new normal, whatever normal is – just roll with the punches and be flexible.

Path of Love

March 16, 2015

My sister Ellen sent me a series of photos she took while there was snow on the ground in Ocean Grove.  It is a story of showing love and I found it so touching.  I wanted to share it with you.

This path was made by a man with a snow blower so that his lady could walk without slipping on the snow and ice. He said that, yes, a bit of sand and a few pebbles went through the blower; it seemed not to bother him at all.

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And there he is, with his lady, on part of the snow blower path (it went all up and down the boardwalk, out the pier and onto the sand). And not even Valentine’s Day.

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Art in Ocean Grove

This is a lovely gesture of love, it wasn’t something he bought her, it was an act of love to her.  Loving gifts come from that part deep inside that asks “What can I do today to make you happy?”  My Dad always said the biggest secret of marriage is to make the other person happy.  My husband brings me flowers for no reason, cooks for me, does the laundry and so many other things.  I am the computer person and arrange for repairs and designer along with so many other things.  We have always said “Thank You” to each other for doing the laundry, cooking, creating his newsletter – all the big and small things.

Thank You Ellen for sharing this with me so I can share it with others.

Ups And Downs

March 15, 2015

This grief business is unpredictable, I am not always sure if it is grief, sinus, RA or a myriad of emotions and stress.  Definitely keeps me guessing.  Last week at this time I was drag my tush tired, I could barely stay awake last Saturday as we did our usual Saturday rounds.  I slept a lot in the car and I think I had a nap at home.  I can’t seem to remember what I did earlier in the day or a week ago.  Must be absolutely earthshaking.

Last Sunday I wrote about having Spring and sunny weather – today it is raining.  I wrote my blog post and then went and had a nap because I also developed a miserable headache.  The nap helped some but it was still bugging me on Monday.  I went to see Dr. Cheryl, my chiropractor, and mentioned it, so she worked on my sinuses with her activator.  It helped some but I ended up having an afternoon nap.  Tuesday I had to myself, but I just dragged myself around.  I had things I planned to do but had no interest or energy for them.  Not the kind of state I like.

Wednesday I went to Breakfast Club and did the 15 minute.  I was due April 1, but I had a call from Cheryl on Tuesday – she was losing her voice and asked if I would fill in for her.  I had my presentation planned, just didn’t have logo cookies.  So I found some Biscotti that would do in a pinch.  I will say, I was not all that prepared, so I read a lot of it and stumbled through some bits of it.  However, they seem to enjoy it and I was glad.

Right afterwards I went for a mammogram, then in the afternoon the plumber was coming to check out the kitchen sink and the new toilet.  In our new bathroom, I had notice the water level in the bowl was slowly going down, almost to the bottom.  Also, for some odd reason, the toilet seat began to turn pink.  If it was lavender, I wouldn’t mind, but I hate pink.  He had no explanation for it.  He has seen them turn yellow from the sun, but never pink.  He found the water problem, the little tube wasn’t connected.  As for the seat, we had him replace it – now I have a pristine white toilet seat.

In the kitchen we had great water pressure for the cold water, but for the hot side, barely a trickle and not very hot.  A simple fix, the corrosion from the galvanized water pipes had clogged it up.  Once he cleared it out, we had pressure and hot water.  The only permanent fix if to replace the pipes.  That will cost a fortune.  So we may have to have Greg come back every once in a while to unclog the screen for us.  What bliss to have hot water and also a full toilet bowl.  Doesn’t seem a big things unless you have to live with it.

Wednesday was a better day, I felt I had some energy and had accomplished things.  Thursday we worked on the computers in the morning and then Eddie was my chauffeur and porter in the afternoon.  I had an Apple One to One appointment to work on my podcasts.  I have them on Google Drive and then I am putting them on a WordPress blog.  Rhys and I worked on submitting it to iTunes, don’t think it made it through for some reason.  However, I need to put all 16 shows on the blog and then we can work on iTunes submissions to get it right.

I had a good day Friday – at the moment it is a complete blank.  I know I was busy and accomplished things, just don’t remember what it was.  I’m sure it will come back to me after I am finished with the post.  Saturday I had a book fellow come over to check out our books.  He bought some and now I need to send the rest to either Goodwill or the library.  I have been putting away the ones I want to keep.

Kathy came a week or so ago and helped me clean out and organize Mom’s room.  It really does help to have it organized.  Now I need to check with the Post Office about box sizes to Nova Scotia so we can sort and organized the hooking stuff.  I have no idea where the cutters are or her hooking frame, I’m hoping I will come across them eventually.  Well, boxes first.

Eddie found homes for the clocks.  One of the women at Future of Flight wants one and Lisa from PNAA wants to the other – we are waiting to find out when they plan to come and pick them up.  Good to know they are going to good homes.

We also finished Eddie’s The Kaplanian Report and he sent it out to his list.  This morning I put it on his blog and published it.  He has had a lot of people asked to be put on his list to receive it and they think it is really great.  One of these days we have to figure out how to make a little money from it.

It is about time I started working on cleaning up the office, so much stuff and I need to let go of it.  It will help when it is organized, then I know what to keep and what not to keep.  No pictures this time, just my ramblings.

Spring Ahead – Phooey!

March 8, 2015

Just when I am comfortable being able to wake up when I plan, we do this ridiculous Daylight Time. I am still trying to figure out why we do it and why does it get earlier and earlier every year. It also means it is extended at the other end as well. It’s been much lighter for Eddie when he leaves at 5 a.m. – now it is dark as a pocket.

I am usually not cranky about things, it’s just that I feel uncomfortable and out of kilter when we are on Daylight time – going back to Standard time, it feels like being in a warm, cosy bed. So far this year, it has been unusual. We have had Spring since the middle of February and so many things are blooming now. Vic’s magnolia tree is almost past blooming, the camellias are going by quickly and the forsythia had a slow start – they are usually the first ones to bloom.

We have had a lot of sunny, fairly warm days – sweater weather in the beginning of March. The scales in the porch garden are getting taller and I expect them to send up stalks for blossoms shortly. Thursday I told the apple and pear trees “Don’t you dare bloom now!” because we might not have any pears or apples. I need to put fertilizer spikes in so they will have some to help them produce fruit. Maybe another shot this year will help the fig tree. I think it is still angry we pruned it 2 or 3 years ago.  I am not complaining, it is a glorious time to see everything blooming.

I seem to spend a lot of time sleeping at night and during the day. Yesterday we went to pick up our taxes from A.D. and all I wanted to do was sleep in the car. A. D. is a great guy and had things ready for us – no chivvying and nagging any more. He had some suggestions for this tax year and we’ll see how things go when we do the taxes next year.

Today I am having trouble getting my self organized or doing anything – maybe I have just been telling myself it is hard to adjust rather than just accepting the change and being open and willing to see it as a usual Sunday. Old habits die hard.

I haven’t written much lately, I don’t want to whinge and be a downer. I finished the 6 week grief support group and would like to see what else is available. I feel a bit cut off before I am ready. I think everyone else felt a bit of that as well. Also, I had 2 different people come in to see about an estate sale – we would lose money if we had one because the market for antiques is no longer there. One of the women gave me the names of people who might be in certain pieces and one fellow who might be interested in the books.

We bought a dining room table that they will hold in the warehouse for us for about a month. Not sure how soon we can move things out to accommodate it. An oddball situation for sure. Kathy helped me organize Mom’s room – she has an organized mind without the emotion. I need to buy some boxes to sort through Mom’s hooking stuff for the lady in Nova Scotia – that was what I asked her to help me do last Wednesday.

Not much else happening, though Ellen and Candy have been having snow. I was interesting to see Ellen’s photo of the beach covered with snow and the water a cobalt blue.

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“I Hope You Know What You Are Doing”

February 15, 2015

My Mom would say that to the bulbs and buds coming up in the middle February.  We have had such mild weather so the scillas, daffodils and camellias are coming out.  The crocus are blooming their hearts out – in white, lavender and purple.

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 At this moment, most of the country is so cold, under snow and miserable while we are in the 60’s, sunny and quite mild.  We had snow in December, just a bit but enough to keep me home that day – mostly it has been raining.  The ski resorts are really unhappy because there is no snow, the environmentalists are upset there isn’t a snow pack for water.

I feel I have been in a tunnel for the past week – an uncomfortable time but I realize now, necessary.  It has been exhausting, emotional and upsetting all at once.  I had been working on a project for a client and I will admit to wearing myself out doing it.  I finished it last Sunday and they are pleased with it.  The day before we had coffee with Kathy, Mom’s caregiver and very good friend – now our good friend.  She gave me a kick in the tush about  selling the furniture and bringing up our furniture to finally make the house the Kaplanian household with our things in it.  I see now how it has been dragging me down – my mistake was trying to do it myself.

I have someone coming on Monday to see what we have and a second one on March 3rd. I feel comfortable with them – one is Katy’s cousin and the other is a referral from Vickie. I like the way their website looks and what their philosophy is.  Also, Kathy has offered to help me clear things out as well – that will help so much.  It is imperative to do it – it has been almost 2 1/2 years since Mom went into the adult family home.  It is for my own health and well-being to do this.  Plus Eddie has been so patient but frustrated all this time.  It’s been 12 years since we had our own home.

I have also been doing a 6 week grief support group with Hospice of Seattle.  there are 9 of us and Tuesday is the last session.  I am going to check with Wendi about other options, plus we all want to continue to meet – maybe once a month or so.  I thought I was doing okay until last week – apparently it comes and goes as well as being a messy business this grief.  I am not sure how it shows up for me or what works for me.  There are no set rules, steps or anything – it is very personal and unique for each person.

Eddie spent 4 nights in Lynwood last week for the PNAA Conference.  With such a difficult time, it was so good to have time to myself – do or not do, whatever I wanted.  I ate a lot of oatmeal – it was very comforting.  I can’t say I rested, I was too tired to sleep.  Monday I had a Roadshow in the morning and caregiver’s support group in the afternoon.  Tuesday I slept in and planned a leisurely morning before going to grief support in the afternoon.  I was working on the computer in my underwear when Eddie called to ask me to bring the banners he forgot.  So I threw my clothes on, grab stuff for the group and the banners and drove to Lynnwood. I felt thrown together and at sixes and sevens by then.  Turns out I had plenty of time to go to Lynnwood and back to Renton, so I had lunch and brought my book until group.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one early, so several of us talked a bit before group.  I was really a puddle that session, otherwise I have been doing pretty well.  Maybe I have done a lot of grieving while Mom was in the adult family home.  Having our things around me will help lighten things up a lot – cleaning out has felt so overwhelming.

Saturday was Valentine’s Day – Eddie and I had lunch with Andy and Jeanna at a Dim Sum restaurant in Bellevue – we usually go to the sushi place in Bellevue, but Andy wanted to do something different.  We had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves.  Eddie bought me some tulips to go with the Gerber Daisies from earlier in the week.

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 My Valentine gift to Eddie was empty space.  Luzma wanted the cradle, little child’s chair and the card table – so I called and asked if she was still interested.  She and John came over and now they have a good home next door.  The asked about the student lamp, but were a bit unsure.  Later they came back and decided to take it.  John is going to have to do some electrical work on it, it has been decades since it was converted from oil.

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Oh the fuzz, debris and junk when they moved things out – I swept it up and it looks much better.  I have the table by Mom’s chair, the pink chair and a dining room chair there now – much more open.  Eddie was  delighted with his new empty space – I wasn’t sure if he would notice it.  He thanked me profusely for empty space, there are times I think he wondered if I would ever get anything done.  It means I have begun the process and that is a huge step in the right direction.  Luzma told me several times “Don’t forget about the hooked rugs”.  I need to find out how much they would bring – she is very willing to pay for them.

The other empty space we did was the red rug Mom and Dad were married on – it is rolled up downstairs now.  Eddie put the pad in the recycle – couldn’t believe how much dirt was there.  It looks much more open now.

I closed down my Facebook account when I found out they say they own anything I put on Facebook – no more blog there.  That really made me angry – it is my life, my words, my writing, my experiences, not theres.  So up yours Facebook!!!!!!!

Now, an added bonus.  As I was downloading the photos from this morning, I forgot we had taken a couple of pictures in Toronto at Christmas.  This is Raouf and Sonia just before we went out to dinner on Christmas Eve.

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We had a great trip, just too short.  Maybe next time we will stay more than 3 days.

The Last Promise Kept

January 18, 2015

When my Dad died in 2000, he had arranged to be cremated and his ashes scattered by plane on the Sound.  I don’t know when he arranged it, but in 2000, the plane company had gone out of business. So Mom kept his ashes in the bureau.  About 3 or 4 years ago, while Mom was still lucid, she became antsy about arrangements for her.  I thought she and Dad had done them together, but apparently not.  So we took her over to Cady Cremation (I had met them through Breakfast Club) to make the arrangement.  She was to be cremated and was insistent that it be written down that her ashes were to be mixed with Dad’s.

I found out you can take a ferry and have ashes dropped in the Sound, so she was fine with that.  The ashes have been here since late October because it seemed their anniversary was the right time to do it.  So I called the Washington State Ferries but only got a voicemail on Monday.  I called again Tuesday – same thing.  By Wednesday I was getting uptight because they say 3 – 5 days notice.

I had another voicemail message, so I called the main number to explain what was happening.  Turns out the woman who does the booking was sitting at her desk.  So I was told to call the number and the woman knew I would be calling.  What a relief.  She was away on Monday and swamped on Tuesday, but she was able to help me so I could do it on Friday – their anniversary.

I wanted to do it on the Fauntleroy to Vashon ferry, but that was booked.  So I made arrangements for the Edmonds to Kingston ferry at 11:10.  She explained I was to go to the 2nd Mate’s office after the ferry left and let him know I was there.  Then he would make arrangements for the captain to stop halfway and I would have 5 minutes to release the ashes.  She also said I could bring flowers, but they had to be all natural – no wire or floral tape.  It sounded fairly straightforward but I will admit to being apprehensive and unsure how it would go. It had been a weight on me and I wanted to complete it for Mom and Dad.

I didn’t want to do it by myself, so I asked my close friend Vickie, my long time friend Charlotte and my next door neighbor to be with me.  All three were pleased to be with me.  Vickie only knew my Mom because I met her when I came back in 2002.  Luzma and Charlotte knew both Mom and Dad,  both felt close to them.  I’d say Dad and Vickie would have enjoyed each other’s company – Dad was always welcoming to people and enjoyed talking to them.

Vickie came at 9:30 and brought flowers, Luzma came a couple of minutes later – with 2 roses.  We drove up to Edmonds and met Charlotte at a QFC outside town – she lives in Mountlake Terrace and it was more convenient for her.  We drove down to the ferry and were in time for the 10:30 ferry – but they were expecting us on the 11:10.  There was a woman directing traffic and when I explained to her, she had us wait until the ferry was loaded and then we got in line.

I figured it would be a wet, windy and cold day – I was pleased and amazed to see clear sunshine and a beautiful day.  We rode on the Spokane.  I had hoped but wasn’t sure how it would be – I asked God to work out the whole thing, I would just show up and get out of the way.  It couldn’t have been a more lovely day for it.

Vickie and Char went to the stern to wait – I went up to the 2nd Mate’s office with Luzma.  Man, do they have steep stairs on the ferry – later we found there was an elevator.  I was so out of breath, but I made it and had time to sit and catch my breath.  We went down tot he car deck – going down isn’t quite so strenuous.  The crew was so great and understanding.  I stood by the rail – they would only let me do it – I released their ashes to the Sound.  Then as the ferry started up, Vickie and Luzma threw their flowers onto the water for them as well.

I thought I would be very drippy and teary, but only a bit as I released the ashes.  As they went into the water, I said “For you Mom and Dad on your anniversary.  The last wish fulfilled, the last promise kept.  May you spirits soar in love, peace and joy.”  I really didn’t know what I was feeling – not even sure if I felt anything.  I found myself coughing a lot, not sure what that was about.  I wondered if I was holding everything in rather than expressing it – still feel that way now.

They also gave me a certificate – a gorgeous photo of a sunset and they had Mom and Dad’s names, the date as well as latitude and longitude.  The only reason I don’t have it in the post is because I am not sure where in the car it is.  I can’t find it – bummer – and I need to ask Vickie where she put it for me.  I need to check the car again.

We came to Kingston and went to have some lunch – I wanted to buy them lunch to thank all of them for being there and supporting me.  We found a place that is about to move to Silverdale, but still open.  We had a great lunch and all three were having a good time.  Luzma was quiet and Char said she was a bit teary when I released the ashes.  I hope she had a good time.

Then it was time to take the ferry back – I may have been more quiet than usual, not sure what I was thinking or feeling.  I thought there would be a feeling release and relief, but there wasn’t anything.  We dropped Charlotte back at QFC and we drove home.  I dropped Luzma next door and then Vickie drove home.  I went inside and suddenly very tired.  I just sat like a bump on a log, I think I was tired mentally, emotionally and physically.  Eddie was late coming home, so we just had something light.  We went to bed at 9 at 9 and I slept hard – got up a couple of times for the bathroom.

I haven’t been crying or upset, I just am.  Maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet.

I looked in the bag and by George, there was the certificate.  what a relief!

Ferry Certificate

I Am Still Here – Somewhere

January 11, 2015

I just realized it has been more than 3 weeks since my last post – I’ve been around but not necessarily with it.  After 3 months, I decided it was time to stop pushing aside grieving for my Mom and Dad, too many oddball things were showing up and I need to deal with it.  I was upset when I decided to end my radio show for a while – going on hiatus while I do major self-care – and will be back doing it again in the future.  I don’t want to spend the rest of my days somewhere in neutral and drag my butt tired.

Eddie and I went to Toronto for a few days for Christmas with our niece and her family – no ice storm this year.  It was 40’s and 50’s with some rain, just like Seattle.  However, I am glad we aren’t there at the moment, they have cold, ice and snow right now.  I have some photos from my sister Ellen  at the Jersey shore showing snow.

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 This one came this morning

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 This was earlier in the week – so amazing!

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Ellen really knows how to compose a great picture.

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This one must have been uncomfortable because the snow was blowing all over.

We had a wonderful time in Toronto – I found myself noticing after a day or so that I had not thought about here or what was happening, I was completely there.  It’s not that we did much, at least I didn’t.  It was a delight to just enjoy their company and relax.

 I have to admit to feeling a bit left out because I only understand about half of what was said, so I asked for a major attitude overhaul.  What a change in my way of looking at the situation.  NEWS FLASH!  It’s not about me.  It is a time for Eddie to speak Arabic with people he cares about and who know exactly what he is talking about – most it is about the past, people they know in common and situations.  They also imitate the way some they knew spoke Arabic – only they understand the joke and why it is funny.

Christmas Eve we watched the service from the church in Bethlehem, then went out for a wonderful dinner.  Christmas afternoon we went to Raouf’s uncle’s house – and 30 of his close relatives.  There are probably another 30 we didn’t meet that night, there is always next year.  I spent a lot of time talking to his Uncle John.  He’s a very interesting guy and so easy to talk with – I found out more of his history on the drive home.

We left on Boxing Day in the evening – Eddie isn’t quite sure why he arranged only 3 days.  We had a wonderful time, though it was so good to be back home and in our own bed.

After we came home, I called Hospice of Seattle to find out about their grief support group.  It is a 6 week course, then often the group decides to continue meeting after the end of the  6 weeks.  It starts this Tuesday and will be for the next 6 Tuesdays.  I don’t know what it will be, I am open to what ever works for me.

I found the book “When Bad Things Happen To Good People” in the library – I had heard it was a really good book for grieving.  Unfortunately I didn’t find it helpful – I don’t need to find a reason Mom is gone – it was time and it was her wish as well as relief.  It is more explaining about the whys – I don’t need that.  I am glad I checked it out, now I know what is about.

I have some other things to check out – some of this by guess and by gosh, some are suggestions from other people – I am open and receptive to anything.  I am open and willing to explore things and ideas to see how they resonate.  This is so individual that it is more challenging than if there is a set formula.  Maybe I will start to look at it as adventure rather than as something to be overcome.  I am working to put it into words for myself – there really aren’t any pictures in my mind yet.

I bought an iPhone last Saturday – my Christmas and birthday present.  It is cool and I went Tuesday to learn how to use it.  I have another appointment this Tuesday to learn more.  They were able to download my list from my old phone and I finally got my pictures downloaded as well – not quite as easily.  However, the number is the same and I don’t have to go through that balderdash again.

I downloaded the new system Yosemite at home in November or December and my computer has been a bit wonky in some places.  I took it in on Saturday afternoon – what a zoo not only at the Apple store, but all over the mall as well.  Anyway, I told them about it and Nicole thought the best thing to do was reinstall Yosemite there and it would install over the one I did.  It was going to take an hour, so I went for coffee and by 5 I was ready to go.

Meanwhile Eddie was home doing the laundry and cooking dinner – what a delightful husband!  He had done all the shopping in the morning by himself because I had woken up in the middle of the night feeling as if at least a Hummer or something bigger had driven over me from feet to head and up my back.  I am not sure what happened, I was doing well the day before and the one before that – no clue why.  By late morning I was doing a lot better – thanks to Advil at night and in the morning.

Life is definitely an adventure.  I found this picture the other day and in some ways it’s how I feel – I don’t know how I got here and I have no idea where it leads, but at the moment, I am here and safe.

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A Particularly Uncomfortable Few Days

November 29, 2014

Boy, computers can bug the hell out of me!!!!!!!!  Yesterday we signed Eddie up for his prescriptions and they sent an email for an electronic signature.  We did it just now and nothing works to send it through.  However, it just occurred to me they are closed, their computers are too.  We’ll try again tomorrow.  And for some reason, the first time I started this post, the bugger would only let me write the title, not the post itself.   Now it’s working – technology 2, Me 0.  I WILL not let it defeat me!  I won’t even mention the printer.

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This is one of Candy’s photos, after the week I’ve had, it always brings a smile to see the rose.  Thank you Candy.

That isn’t the subject, I got sidetracked just before I started writing.  It isn’t painful, just aggravating.

And now to business.  A week ago Thursday I was here in the office and ended up with another splinter in my foot from the hard wood floor.  It is the only place it happens and this time I couldn’t pull it out.  I could feel the end but since it was on the bottom of my heel, I couldn’t see it or bend enough to see it.  Eddie tried getting it out, but he couldn’t either.  It wasn’t that uncomfortable, I have had other splinters that stayed in my foot and have not given me trouble.  By Saturday I could feel it, it seemed to be pushing itself farther into my heel.  I began to feel as if I had a twig in there.  By Monday it was so uncomfortable and I didn’t want to walk on it.  I was sitting here and Eddie said “You have that look.”  I asked what look.  He said the look of “I don’t like this”.  Spot on, he was so right.

Tuesday I was really limping – fortunately I had an appointment with my rheumatologist and my infusion.  When I saw Jennifer – the doc’s nurse – I found myself ready to cry.  I had been having a really bad time and I so appreciated Jennifer as she took the splinter out and cleaned all the junk in it – it had become infected.  It hurt like crazy when she took it out, but I was so relieved to have it gone and cleaned up.  As it was, I did  start crying a bit from relief.

They put a bandage on it and decided I wouldn’t get my infusion.  Fortunately I also had an appointment with Doc Pierce in the afternoon – could I have timed it any better?  He checked it out and gave me a prescription for antibiotics and orders to soak my foot in Epsom Salts.  I have another appointment with him on Tuesday, then an appointment on Thursday for the rheumatologist and I hope my infusion.  Not the most comfortable week, I spent a lot of time sleeping or napping to rest from all the pain and stress.

I am still soaking my foot and everything is so much more comfortable.  I hope it looks good to both docs next week.  As for me, it feels so good to walk comfortably again.  The antibiotics are for 8 days, 3 a day.  Tuesday night, Eddie was ready to cancel our dinner reservation for Thanksgiving  “because you can’t walk”.  I’m glad he didn’t because I was doing much better Thursday afternoon and we had a lovely dinner at Il Fornaio.  It was amazing how quiet it was on the viaduct and downtown, hardly any traffic.  We were half an hour early and they gave us a table right away.

We decided to do the traditional Thanksgiving dinner of 3 thick slices of white meat, yams, stuffing, mashed potatoes, haricot vert and cranberry sauce.  I couldn’t eat all of it, but I did enjoy it.  We decided to have pumpkin pie as well, though it was one thing too many.  But it was a great dinner all around.  We just relaxed all day, reading, working the computer and watching some tv.  It really felt good.  We were glad we were home before it started raining.

However, Friday we were out paddling around in the heavy rain, didn’t go too far a field and were glad to come home and be warm and dry.  This morning we woke up to snow – really coming down for a while.  I think we had an inch or so, the roads were bare and wet fairly quickly.  Good thing because the temperature has dropped and anything liquid is going to be ice.  We saw so many people who had left their car outside, full of snow not very well cleared off.  What a difference to keep our cars in the garage so we don’t have to scrape.

Today we went out for a bit, the wind was really cold and it is due to be colder tonight and the next few days.  It will be drier, clearer and colder – not much fun being outside in that weather.  Not much else to report, we haven’t been doing much these days of the holiday but we have enjoyed it.

That Was The Week That Was

November 23, 2014

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Fall at Vanderbilt University – nothing to do with my post but so lovely I wanted to share it.

It’s a week later and I am relieved to have the letter and its accompanying  attachments on their way to DSHS – all thanks to Dave Gagley.  It will be interesting to see  if there is an answer and if so, what it will be.  Fortunately they will be sending it to Dave, not me.  Now I am possibly making it out to be worse than it is, I don’t like messing with government in any form.

I feel I have taken off my training wheels for the radio show, I am feeling more confident being on air, the times when I am suddenly at a loss for words are fewer and I am able to  recover.  I am still working on my archives, the downloads don’t quite fit the mb quota of my site.  Definitely need to work out how to put it on iTunes as a podcast.  I am also working on guests, some people are a bit shy about being on the air, even if it is on the phone.  But I am not pushing because that doesn’t help make people comfortable.

I am beginning to think my fatigue has loosened up a bit – I sleep all night, have naps in the afternoon and still have trouble getting up in the morning.  I planned to do  several things this week, instead I was dragging and had naps.  Wednesday afternoon I went to the eye doctor for a check up – I’m doing well and there is only a slight change, I don’t need to buy new glasses.  However, when we came home, I was in bed like a shot because I was beat.  I also just saw snowflakes instead of lights and things were a bit blurry, seemed the smart thing to do since I couldn’t do anything else.

Friday was a really good day.  I was able to do things all day and didn’t feel the need for a nap.  I can’t say the same for Saturday, I work with each day as it comes.  I will say I am impatient to have energy again, it feels so long ago the last time I felt energetic.  It’s so much easier to do things with energy.  I am noticing I  tend to say “I’m tired” – doesn’t help the attitude, my goal is to be aware of what I say about it and make sure it is positive.  It’s a thought, and a thought can be changed.

We have been having rain again, I really noticed it on Thursday.  My legs and hips were stiff and sore, I knew something was going on, but not sure what.  We had a lot of clear, cold and sunny days, we are back to the 40’s and 50’s with rain.  Typical Seattle fall weather.  I will take this  rather than deal with snow, ice or any other cold stuff.  I remember a woman I worked with at Boeing who was from Buffalo.  she said when it snowed hard, her Mom would let her young sister outside because she couldn’t find her in the piles of snow.  I’ve seen pictures of this last snowfall there – a lot of people have prepared for it and are concerned about the snow on the roof.  When it starts raining, that snow will be even heavier.  We had a snowstorm here with quite a few inches, then it rained and roofs caved in.  They were showing on Lake Union the roofs of the boat houses collapsing from the weight.

This coming week is a medical one, Monday afternoon is the dentist – talking to him about being on the show as well as my teeth.  Tuesday is my rheumatologist and then my infusion.  It will be my last visit to her, she is retiring at the end of the year (she is younger than I am).   I will miss her, I’ve been going to her since I moved here 12 years ago.  For their long time patients, they called each of us to let us know this was happening.  also, there are 4 other rheumatologists now, so they looked to see which doctor would fit the patient.  I will see Dr. Shasteen in January, I haven’t met her before but a friend had her as a doctor and really liked her.  Nothing stays the same, certainly I haven’t stayed the same.  I think I also see my primary care doctor as well.  Have to check the calendar.

Eddie is taking Thursday off – we have reservations at Il Fornaio for Thanksgiving dinner at 3:30.  We haven’t done this before, so I’m looking forward to it – we enjoy their food and the people.  For years Eddie would get a turkey as a work bonus and there we would be, a big turkey and the 2 of us.  Some years we invited people over, or we were invited and we provided the turkey.  I think last year we found a ball of turkey at Whole Foods, just dark and white meat and not too big for two. It worked out quite well.

We have also taken care of Christmas shopping for my sisters plus our niece and her family in Toronto.  We had everything sent so we don’t have to carry it on the plane.  Let’s hope there isn’t an ice storm this year – it was really something last year.


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