Archive for January, 2013

Oh Goody, Rain and Dark

January 30, 2013


This is Wednesday, the day I go to my networking breakfast group.  We meet at 7:30 for breakfast and have a 30 second commercial, then a 5 minute speaker and a 15 minute speaker.  I am scheduled for a 15 minute in 3 weeks, then Carol asked if I would do it next week because Dick won’t be there – now why would he want to miss breakfast just to celebrate his 40th wedding anniversary with his wife?

Eddie woke me up at 5:15, just before he left to volunteer at the Boeing Archives.  By the time I was ready to go, it was 0 dark thirty and not only dark, but raining too.  Not my favorite combination. Fortunately it wasn’t a hard rain, plus I noticed in the light of my little LED flashlight I could see the rain – like little lighted pins or thin rods that have rainbow colors.  I would like to stand still and study it, but I had to go – plus I would have gotten wet.  So I left for breakfast and was glad it wasn’t a torrential rain in the dark – been there, done that, don’t like it.

I remember a day in the 80’s when I was doing speeches for the Connecticut Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.  It was a school and I wasn’t sure what to say to the kids, so I decided to think of it from their experiences.  It was during daylight and I had not been there before, so I was trying to find my way in the downpour where I could hardly see through the windshield.  The wipers weren’t doing a whole lot for me, but it would have been worse if I didn’t have them going.

I will say that all of us are so glad the fog is gone, there isn’t that feeling of the ceiling slowly coming down on me, almost squishing me as it comes close to the ground.  The air had gotten very stagnant, so there was a burn ban – now we can have a fire and the air is a lot cleaner.  We have even seen some sun, sometimes bits of it here and there, some times a whole morning or afternoon.

When I was out last Friday the sun went in and out of the clouds, one of those times when the clouds were snowy white to dark and all the values in between.  It was amazing, I wish I could have used my camera, but I needed to keep my eye on the road.  If we have sun and clouds, I rather have the puffy ones where the sun goes in and out than have it look hazy.

Day 1 - A cloudy pic across the puget sound

It is always amazing to see the rain come across Puget Sound from the West, over the olympic Mountains to us – then goes into the mountains and becomes snow and really bad weather as it makes it way east.  Sometimes we see big black clouds, sometimes they are grey and some have that “I’m going to dump on you” look.  Other times it looks like fog coming across the water, until the rain drops hit our big west-facing windows.  If the wind is strong, it will make those big windows rattle.

It’s been more of a toolie rain today that hard or downpour – but you will get wet is you stay out in it.  When they say there is a 60% chance of rain, I usually say you will only get 60% wet.  That’s the thing about Seattle, we have all kinds of rain – from spit to mist to drizzle to real rain to hard rain to downpour.  Some days it doesn’t do anything, just is cloudy and sulks. It’s not true it takes 6 months to acquire web feet here, it only takes 2 or 3.  Actually, I tell people it rains all day every day here so they won’t come here to live.  I remember saying that all the time I lived away from here.

I lived away from here for 34 years and I so missed the rain and the green.  I missed a large body of salt water and proper mountains, Northern Virginia had 3 mountain ranges but they were bumps on the landscape next to the Olympics.  It was hard to be in For Wayne and Atlanta where there weren’t any mountains and in Atlanta Lake Lanier was just a squiggly man-made lake – no body of salt water.  Felt a little landlocked in some places.  Really made me appreciate the Pacific Northwest and Washington (the real one).

I will take rain drops over the flakes and the icy stuff any day.

Is It Pain?

January 27, 2013

Interesting day Friday.  I went up with my other half at o dark 30 because my friend Char was having a birthday lunch in Edmonds and it seemed silly to take two cars up the same direction.   I stayed at the Future of Flight until about 9:30 – I found my little terrace upstairs by the entrance to the Stratodeck – almost said hollow deck.  It is warm and plenty of light plus fairly quiet.  I read my book because my hands, wrist and shoulders have been very uncomfortable because I have spent a lot of time on the computer working on my blogs.  I have and now I made a new one called – one is about finding the gift in Rheumatoid Arthritis and the other is about cats.  I planned to write about my two cats Muffet and Tiger, about my Mom’s cat Josephine and also about a friend’s cat Subaru.



It was probably a good day to up north so I wouldn’t be writing on my blog or using the computer very much.  I went to three stores and walked quite a bit – oh were my knees, ankles and feet sore and uncomfortable.  I was glad to sit in the car for a while.  I was really stiff when I got to the restaurant, but I had a different thought about it.  I had been listening to Dr. Pat and she had some people on who are doing a 5 day workshop – running the bars and then other things for the other 4 days.  I would love to go, unfortunately it is a bit spendy .

One of the people talking was Ricky Williams, a well-known football player who talked about when he was playing.  He would be in pain in practice as well as playing, so he was taking pain killers a lot of the time.  What he finally realized was that he labeled it pain, locking in the idea that it is pain.  It was the idea that “I have pain, what can I do to get rid of it” thinking.    Then he changed is thinking to “What is my body telling me it needs?”.  Pain is your unwillingness to listen to your body.  Words are powerful and thinking in terms of intensity of change which you asked it to do, your body is stretching, changing and elongating to  create what you asked it to do.

So I thought about that as I was driving to Edmonds to meet Char and Joyce.  I had to concentrate because I have spent the last 42 years thinking “Pain, how do I get rid of it” and certainly feeling a victim and many cases of oh-poor-me-osis.  Now I realize I have implanted in my mind.  Takes some getting used to, so now I realize I have not been listening to my body at all.  I will admit I was very uncomfortable all day and evening, sometimes a new way of thinking takes some time.

I had gone up with Eddie and I was glad he was driving, I think I slept most of the way home.

I had a lovely time with Char and Joyce – though I still let Char know she is a year older than I am.  Actually, for 13 days we are same age.  That’s only because I went to school a year earlier that every one else when we moved to Seattle.  Mom and Dad say that I made so much fuss when I saw Ellen go on the bus to school to see where she went, they finally allowed me to go to.  Everyone in my graduating class was a year older.  But I would have missed out in knowing Char in 9th grade.  Who knows how my life would have gone if I had been in school with people my own age.

Yesterday I was amazed at how well I felt – not much discomfort, though walking through a couple of stores did make my legs hurt a bit.  I will admit to taking an extra prednisone when we had dinner, plus some Advil before bed.  I had wondered how I would be today because usually the second day is the worst.  A little stiff but otherwise doing rather well.

Since I didn’t visit Mom on Friday afternoon, I went yesterday while Eddie was doing the laundry.  She was doing pretty well, she said Elizabeth called earlier.  When I was talking to Judy, she said she calls everyone Elizabeth.  Interesting because that is my legal name.  Yet on Tuesday she wanted to introduce me to Judy and said I was her cousin Betty.  I have finally realized correcting her just agitates her and it really doesn’t matter.  So for a bit I was Betty.

Smothered Under a Blanket

January 20, 2013


Seattle has a bad habit of having bouts of fog – mostly in December around Christmas when we used to spend Christmas here.  We seemed to have liked out several times – it was clear when we arrived, then the fog clamped down for at least two weeks.  All those people stuck in airports trying to travel.  Then the day before we left the sun would come out and all was clear.  Now in January it has been so foggy since last Sunday – I think, it has hung around so long I can’t quite remember.  This time it has had an added element – heavy frost.  Fortunately I have been able to go places later in the morning so it has worked okay.  If it is really bad, I stay home.

It seems the fog won’t lift, just hangs around and at times it feels as if several houses in the neighborhood ( those I can see) are on a small island with us and no one ale is there.  An odd feeling.  There are days when the Sound and Vashon along with the other islands are not there, we live on a very high peak that is a straight drop down.  Other times it looks as if there are no islands, just the ocean out there.

Friday was a very interesting morning.  I went up to the Future of Flight with Eddie because later he was to visit a place where he will do a presentation next month.  It seemed silly for him to come back down here and then go to the place, so I went up with him.  I took my journal and my books so I could write and read.

We found everything covered in fog and some slippy slidey areas but not bad for us.  But as we drove up we seem to have found pockets of high fog or clouds and thought it wouldn’t be too bad up north.  We stopped at Panera at Alderwood Mall and as Eddie turned the corner, he could feel the car slide a bit.  I didn’t  notice it and since the black top was black, I thought it was fine.  I soon found out how slippy slidey it was because I was sliding on the pavement almost every step – it scared me a lot.  I had to hold on to Eddie and even then I was slipping around.

After a lovely breakfast we came out, I had forgotten my trip in and realized I had to it again, only this time with a downhill.  Eddie held on to me and when we got to the downhill, I had him be in front of me and I held to his shoulders.  We walked very slowly – very hard for him, never seen anyone cover ground as fast as he does).  So I had to tell him to slow down.  I made back to the car in one piece without mishap but I don’t if I could have by myself.


When we got to the Future of Flight, everything was white with frost.  Eddie took me up to the back door , close to the building it was bare and wet.  then he took the car to his parking space.  He showed me a place on the balcony that was warm and quiet, so I spent most of my time there.  And I finally started my journal on exploring RA, then read for a while.  Afterwards I went down to visit with the Friday morning volunteers.

We needed to leave around 11, so I hit the pit stop and Eddie picked me up at the front door.  The most astounding thing was to see the sunshine and blue sky at times.  When we left it was sunny, but down the road it was fogged in.  Never know what it will be like in any given place.  In some places the fog was higher but not really gone, there were clouds above.  Yesterday was as bad though, most places had high fog.  As I am sitting here this afternoon writing this, there is sunshine – who’d a thunk it?

It often seems the weather gets into a rut – rains every day, fog for more than a week, even sun for 2 months!  That was really weird for us.  Unfortunately there is a burn ban now so we can’t use the fireplace – we need some rain to help all this.  Imagine someone in Seattle wanting rain!  You need to be a bit odd to enjoy living here.


The only reason I knew the ferries were running was because I heard their fog horns.  I would hate to be a captain navigating through the fog with all the traffic on the Sound.  No doubt they have great radar, otherwise we would hear the crash and crunch as they ran into each other.

I am in awe of the frost

January 17, 2013

We had a very thick frost yesterday morning but I didn’t know it was there until I left the house at o dark thirty for Breakfast Club.  At this time of the year it is dark as a pocket until about 7 or 7:30, so I wasn’t  quite sure how things would be when I left early.  Eddie did tell me there was frost and to be very careful.  So I got ready to go, got out my trusty pocket LED flashlight I carry in my purse and set out.  One of my many samples – it’s good to be a Promotional Advisor, so many lovely samples.  I turn on the flashlight when I turn off the kitchen light – it is across the room from the back door.  So there I was with just a flashlight, looking as if I am up to something nefarious.  I locked the door and that’s another place the flashlight is handy.  As I was going down the porch, I didn’t see much of anything, and the sidewalk was fine for a few steps.  Then I saw the frost and thought it wasn’t as bad as Eddie had said.  But what I noticed when I came to frost on the walk, was how it sparkled, like tiny diamonds.  As I went further down there was more and more, and I saw the sparkles in the grass with white all around the blades.  It was also damn cold!

As I backed out of the drive and turned into the street, I noticed the street was completely white.  Now that was where I really had to watch it!  It was also gorgeous as well.  I could hear the crunch of the tires on the frost – it is so much like snow when it is fresh.  When I got to the end of the street I had to make a fast left turn up the Top of a steep hill.  Fortunately, someone had put thin ribbons of deicer or something on the street, so it wasn’t slick.  Let me tell, doing the fast left turn with everything covered in snow is not that easy – it has kept many a driver on our street from getting out to the road.  Anytime it snows, I do not go anywhere – after getting stuck on a hill twice in the snow, there is nothing that important that requires me to go out in it.

I had a few slopes, then up a steep hill and down the other side to get out to main road.  Those ribbons made navigating the hills no problem.  I had no trouble  getting to the freeway, the cars had melted the frost so it was bare.  When I got off in Kent, wow!  There was a stretch of road I thought would be bare and wet, but it was white and as I was driving it looked as if it had snowed, the cars in the dealership were really covered with frost.  Then shortly after I had gone farther down, the road was clear again.  I wish I could have seen the frost in the day light, but there was also fog, so it was quite awhile before there was any sun and by then most of the frost was gone.

I know there are many people around the country and the world who  are having a lot worse weather than we are.  I was amazed I was so focused on how beautiful it was that I didn’t really think about being afraid of driving.  I had that feeling this morning in the shower, I just felt so good with the hot water  falling on me, warming me up and relaxing me.  I could spend a long time in the shower – actually spent 35 minutes one morning in rehab.  I was doing pretty well at that time and I could get out of the wheel chair and go into the walk in shower.  Katrina told I could do my own washing on the bench and she had someone else in the other shower.  I was enjoying the water and being clean again – only 2 showers a week.  I am used to having a shower every day.  I did pretty well, though every once in a while, she would call across the room “Are you washing?”.  They were all like mother hens there, they took such good care of me and everyone else.  They kept kidding me about wanting to spend time in the hot shower, so this particular morning I got spend more time than usual.  So they had a great laugh about it and later when I went to breakfast, some residents were talking about someone who took a 35 minute shower.  Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

Now I find I am becoming more aware of what is around me, enjoying the moment and what I notice.  It is definitely something I want to do more of and be more in the moment.  I have spent too many decades focusing on what hurts or what I don’t have that I have taken all the blessing I have for granted.

I wanted to find photos of things that were similar to what I saw but I couldn’t find it.  We had frost again this morning with fog, not as thick and I didn’t stop to take pictures because I had to get to my doc.  (Good report – he doesn’t want to see me for 3 months.  The longer between appointments means I am doing well.)

Time for some “Awww” and “Cute!”

January 16, 2013

I was checking out Facebook the other day and came across some wonderful photos. They are from Linzse at   Thank You Linzse.  I was feeling a bit low and decided this is a good time to write a post.   I found the photos on Little Red Bird Facebook, I am so grateful to find this site.  You know how much I love cats, but since I received Bunny last year in rehab, I have more of an affinity for rabbits.  So I found some cute bunnies and cats that made me smile and want to cuddle them.



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If that doesn’t give you the warm fuzzes, I can think of some other photos I found.  I heard a joke today I had forgotten about.  Two older ladies were driving and the passenger saw a red light coming, but they went right through it.  There was another red stop light which they went through.  When they approach another red light, once again they went right through.  she finally turned to her friend and said “Mildred, didn’t you see the red lights?”.  To which Mildred replied “Oh, am I driving?”


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I noticed as I was writing this post that they had recommendations for a related site, so I thought I would add them as well.  I am learning new things on WordPress and it is really interesting what can be done on my blog.

It’s interesting how this blog works, sometimes it doesn’t make any sense.  I was trying to put three photos across the page and it looks great in the composing phase;  looks a whole lot different on the blog.  I finally figured out that the composing area is a lot wider than the blog you see on the site, no wonder it doesn’t quite fit.  I have tried several times to make it look nice, but it isn’t quite how I want it to look.  so I will have to play around with it in another post and see what it takes to look the way I envision it in my mind.  I have decided that frustration and working at it trying different things often helps me figure it out – sometimes it takes several sessions and some simmering the back burner.

Enjoy the cats and bunnies – I feel better now.

Is It A Merry-Go-Round Or A Roller Coaster?

January 14, 2013

I went to see my Mom twice last week, she seems a bit more alert – wonder if the med is kicking in slowly.  I brought an apple and cranberry pie for the house.  I noticed that was mostly what Mom talked about for the rest of the visit.  They were going to have  for dessert at dinner.  She was very pleased and ready to eat it right that minute.  When I saw her on Friday afternoon, I asked her about the pie – she said she hadn’t gotten any yet.  The others said they really enjoyed it and I suspect Mom did too, she just didn’t retain the memory.  NOTE TO SELF: Don’t ask her about things that happened a short while ago, she probably won’t remember and will go into wanting apple pie.  Once she has fixated on something, she worries it like a  dog with a bone – almost  an obsession.


She keeps asking about her parents – what do I know about them – and then she remembers they aren’t here.  I usually tell her they are watching over her and preparing a place for her when her time comes.  She will ask several times and Judy said she asks her a lot about them – it feels as if she has a loop playing in her mind about them and also about leaving.  So far when she says she wants to leave, I tell her this is her home, this is where she waits for the train.  It was an easier week visiting her, she likes the people and she says they are very good to her.  It has been 3 months since she moved there, I know it was big adjustment for her, though no idea how it felt to her.


This is the roller coaster part of the equation – up and down, not knowing what happening with her or what is best for her.  I am still a little uneasy and uncertain making decisions for some one else, especially the person who took care of me as I was growing up.

I am glad to say I am nearly at the finish line for Medicaid.  We had to spend down to $2000, not a penny more.  I bought almost $500 worth of clothes, though I will take them to her slowly since she doesn’t have a lot of room in her closet or drawers.  Then we went over to the cremation place and spent $1400 there – all suggests from the case worker.  She has been so kind and easy to work with, government isn’t usually like that.  The only paperwork left is her latest checking account statement that closes on the 19th.  I think she is approved to start February 1st – if we wait until March 1st, I have to jump through all the hoops again.  Believe me, I do not want to do it again!  According to Eddie’s calculations after we were at the cremation place, there is about $70 left, so I may go and buy her some lotions.

It has been hard spending down her money because Providence takes care of almost everything.  It will be interesting to see how it all works when the 1st rolls around.  It is scary having only $2000 in her account, we are very cautious about our checking account, we like to have a large cushion.  Eddie has been doing Mom’s checking account for 2 or 3 years and he treats it like ours.  So not having much of a cushion makes both of us uneasy.  I keep telling myself that because Providence takes care os so much, if something happens, they are likely the ones to take care of it.


This is the merry-go-round part – endless forms, sending things in only to have more questions and requests.  I will say that the case worker has made it much easier than some who work in government.  It has also been and education and an eye opener.  However, it is difficult for anyone having go through this experience.  I’m not sure I want to know what the next is that is coming.

Sunday Round Up

January 13, 2013

Obviously I didn’t write more than one post last week – I thought I would because of Brenda Ueland’s book and how much it made me want to write.  I am still dragging from the flu but feel a lot better, too bad my energy hasn’t caught up yet.  But I have decided it is long past time to change my thought patterns – instead of thinking in terms of my fatigue,  I am going to think in terms of “My energy is returning”.  So there!  I realize I am waiting for it to come but I have to do more than whinge and sleep.  I also think the cough stuff put me to sleep – helped the cough and now I am not using it.  Maybe it takes more than a day or so to be completely out of my system.  Some days I feel as if I have more questions about so much and very few answers. However, I also tend to want to see it on a flashing neon billboard so I won’t miss it.  That is one of the things I am concerned about – missing the messages.  Maybe I need to change my name to Thomas on those occasions.

I did notice something interesting on Thursday.  I didn’t put my neck collar on to work on the computer, but I wasn’t stiff or uncomfortable when I finished.  I was looking at other RA blogs and commenting on them as well as checking out dementia blogs.  I was having fun and I must have been doing it for 2 or 3 hours non stop.  Hmmmm, something to think about.   However, I had planned a post that day – it was a day to myself and I took full advantage of it.  I was caught up in the blogs – there are some really great bloggers out there! – and forgot what I wanted to do.  Maybe when I do things I enjoy, there aren’t the repercussions I get when I am doing something that isn’t always fun.

I have been checking WordPress to see what I need to do on my blog to be on Freshly Pressed on Fridays.  One thing is not have long paragraphs, one thing I have on my posts.  So I have been working on making my paragraphs shorter – when I write, I just go full steam without noticing things like that.  Then I check spelling and publish.  I need to do a little more with it now. They also suggest pictures, that  means  I may be surfing a lot to find  a photo that  fits the subject.  I need to go back and see what else I need to do – now that I think about it, a page with long paragraphs isn’t very interesting to look at.  However, the most important is content and how it is written.  I did learn how to put in a gravatar, so I am learning something new every day.

I just saved my draft and decided to view the post to see how it looks – about twice as many lines as they recommend – on the part where I write, I have short paragraphs, but on the blog the space is narrower, so instead of no more than 8 lines, I counted 15.  Hmmm, this is going to take some thought to decide how to do this. – I don’t have anything else to do, do I?  I checked the blog preview again, 3 lines equals 6 lines on the blog.  That does help me figure out how much to put in each paragraph when I am writing the blog.  Ain’t technology wonderful?

I am very pleased to see the sun out again, though it has been in the very low 30’s and upper 20’s the last few days.  It is a delight to see the sun this week, it feels as if it has been away on holiday for quite a while.  We checked the rain amount, as of Saturday afternoon, we have 2.71 inches, and the middle of the month isn’t even here yet.

Speaking of which, Tuesday is my birthday, the big 66.  I don’t necessarily feel that age, except Friday night and Saturday morning when I was so stiff and uncomfortable – no idea why.  Not my favorite way to feel.  I don’t feel any age, but looking at 66, I realize I don’t necessarily have a lot of time left to accomplish whatever is my Life Purpose.  By the way, I have the list of Life Lessons and I will do a post on that soon.  In looking at it, it feels as if all of them are mine.

We have been applying for a mortgage but had to hold off for a bit until we have Mom qualified for Medicaid.  Since it all looks really good, they started the process up again, but it may not be until the end of this month.  I was hoping we would be starting on the kitchen this month but not so far.  Looks more like February.  Ah well, all things come to he/she who waits.  Another part of being a late bloomer.

Have I Found My Voice?

January 6, 2013

From a purely physical, practical and right now this minute perspective, I now have my voice back after losing it due to flu.  There is also finding my voice to ask for what I want, say my truth (this requires a post by itself) and not allow anyone to walk all over me – take back my power.  But in this instance, it is my voice in my writing.  I honestly don’t know if I have found my voice, I just write what I am thinking and feeling, what has been happening in my life at the time or what sparks my fancy.  I started out writing about RA and finding the gift in it; then the last year or so I have written about dealing with my Mom’s dementia and how I have felt about it.

What has been very gratifying is the likes and comments about blog posts, as well as seeing there are 21 people following my blog – I treasure all of you for that.  I have also found other blogs that intrigue me and where I find information, humor and  some have the most gorgeous photos I’ve ever seen.  So many wonderful and talented people out there doing amazing work.  Thank You to all of you.

I started thinking about my writing voice because my younger sister sent me a book for Christmas called “If You Want To Write”, by Brenda Ueland.  Brenda talks about the students in her classes who had a lot of trouble writing because they thought it had to be a certain way.  When she asked them to write about a childhood experience, she was amazed at how different and wonderful their pieces were.

I have not really been able to imagine a character and a situation to write fiction, I enjoy writing about experiences and people I know – I think I have been more cut out to write essays like Andy Rooney than a novel like Clive Cussler or D.E Stevens who wrote nice English stories.   I find I don’t want to have to follow rules, just write what I want in the way I want.

Some days the blog post just comes out with no effort, I get lost in the writing and sometimes figuring out what came first so it is in sequence.  Sometimes I write, like this post, with an idea but I keep stopping to think what will come next.  I happened to look at the related articles and read through this one from KJ.  She writes well and put into words some of what is going through my mind.

Now, if I have found my voice, can I describe it in words?  Not really, but then I may be too close to it to be objective.  I tend to do that with so many things.  Is it necessary to describe it?  I wonder because if I did or could would that change everything and I would lose what I have?  My writing is very personal and I do inject myself in it.  Sometimes I  find something occurs to me when I am talking and of course say it – sometimes I make people laugh.  It is just that things just pop into my head and I talk without thinking.  Sometimes I think something is funny and I am the only laughing – well, at least one person saw the humor.

I have a tendency to say what I am thinking – unfortunately there are times when it doesn’t come out the way I mean it.  The minute I realize it, I usually say “Oops, move over foot, here comes the other!”. Or “Oh dear, that didn’t come out the way I meant it!”.  My writing is like that sometimes, I certainly hope I don’t offend people.  I also know if I worry about whether people will like the post and what I writing about, I could drive myself crazy.  Most likely never write a post again.

This is one of those posts I am struggling with a bit, I wonder if I have really gotten to the point or not.

I have just read what I have written and it isn’t as choppy and disjointed as I thought.  However, I may be better stopping while I am still ahead.  I appreciate any comments anyone might have.

Lee Proposes, God Disposes

January 3, 2013

I had planned to write a blog post 2 1/2 weeks ago called “The Bears Have It Right”.  I had decided to take the last two weeks in December off just relaxing – hibernating, so to speak –  doing what I wanted, writing blog posts as well as in my journal.  I needed some quiet time to rest and recuperate from this last quarter of the year.  Unfortunately I came down with the flu and have been coughing, blowing my nose, losing my voice and dealing with a sore throat.  If I had been in any mood to write, it would have been to whinge about how badly I felt and chronicle in detail the day my throat felt as if there were thorns in it – made swallowing, sneezing and coughing very uncomfortable.  Then I would have complained the day I had a horrendous headache – all of which would have been against my rule of No Whingeing.  So that is why you have not seen a blog for  2 1/2 weeks.  To make the whole thing more interesting, Eddie came down with it as well about a week after I did.  What a pair we have been.  There are times when I think God has a very peculiar sense of humor – last time I needed a break, it was a broken hip rather than two weeks at a spa as I had imagined it.

So here I am in January 3rd, feeling a whole lot better, though still with the stuffy runny nose and cough.  I am beginning to feel more human again – boy does that feel good.  I am still lying low this week to see if I can get over it all as much as possible before starting the new year.  I am happy to say I have been sleeping well for a while, though I still don’t feel rested.  But I think I am working through the fatigue of this year and last by going down layer by layer.  It has been a very different Christmas this year, the first time we have been on our own.  We always came to Seattle for Christmas with Mom and Dad and my two sisters – didn’t seem like Christmas otherwise.  The only decoration we put up were the cards that arrived – thank goodness Eddie was on the ball sending ours.  Christmas Day we went over to see Mom and bring her a box of goodies.  We also brought Candy’s gifts with us since she sent them to the house.  She was pleased to see us, even though we were both feeling terrible.  They had all been given gifts – John gave Mom a large teddy bear – she really likes it and cuddles it a lot.

I wanted to give the others in the house a gift, so I bought handkerchiefs for John and Wendell, a plush bear for Jennifer because she keeps admiring Mom’s and has said she wished she had one.  I gave Monique and Jan each a bone china mug and scarves to Didi, Judy and Susan.  I appreciate their caring for Mom and  being there for her.  Mom is often confused and has been having trouble sleeping at night.  To counteract that, she sleeps a lot in the day.  They have a new med to help her sleep at night but it hasn’t kicked in yet – it may take a couple of weeks.  One day I went to see her and she was sound asleep – she had not slept well the night before.  Another day she had just gotten up – it was about 1:30 in the afternoon.  She seems to be more forgetful when she is timed and they are beginning to see her feisty, irritable side now.  When I saw her yesterday, she was very upset and wanted to go home, I think more likely her mother’s house, though she did say she wanted to live with me again.  Part of it is not sleeping well and part is the dementia, it was upsetting to be there.  This is definitely the hardest part of the disease.  I talked to Judy about it and she helped me to understand about it a little more.  I have to remind myself her perception is not always a true one.

2012 has been a challenging year for a lot of people, not just me.  What I would rather do when I look back over the year is to see the gifts in it.  Although it has been difficult taking care of Mom and then finding a place for her to live, plus all the balderdash applying for Medicaid, I am realizing I can ask for help as well as step up to plate and deal with what comes.  I have realized that a lot of my childhood programs have been hitting me in the face so I finally have begun to recognize them.  One was “Don’t ask for help, don’t bother or burden others”,  I am listening to my older sister’s advice of “Ditch it, girl”.  With the broken hip, I had a break from Mom and home, though not quite as I pictured it.  But it gave me a chance to have time on my own where the focus was on me and what I needed.  It also gave Eddie a chance to see what I had been dealing with all those months.  Yes, I still had to deal with stuff for Mom on the phone, but I could forget about it for a while as I was doing therapy and sleeping – not a lot of energy or interest for anything else.

I suspect I will be able to see the gifts better as time goes on, it isn’t always apparent at the time.  I see 2013 as a new beginning, though I am not sure what it will be or how it will show up – I look for what is for my highest good, what works no matter what form it appears.


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