?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Moving at the Speed of Procrastination. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
E.G.

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

[sticky post] Other ways to contact me [Apr. 4th, 2017|12:06 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]

If i quit posting here, feel free to look for me at http://elainegrey.dreamwidth.org/ .

I receive email via google's mail service at the user name elaineforexample.

Confidantes may find more information at http://elainegrey.livejournal.com/654579.html
LinkLeave a comment

Attempting to get back to habits, like daily journalling.... [Feb. 14th, 2019|09:43 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

I put a bunch of seedy old grapes in a crook in the old front yard apple tree. The first time i did it, it was low enough that deer or possums or raccoons found them. I have a hard time imagining deer eating a whole block of suet, so i assume it was possums or raccoons. The second time i put the grapes higher up. They've been sitting there for a while, but this morning a murder of American crows (eek, a murder in the driveway!) has figured out where they are. The crows have to take turns negotiating their way through the thicket of water sprouts. It's been entertaining.

Also seen this morning: a red bellied woodpecker, male northern cardinal, two mourning doves, and an unidentified sparrow (i'd guess a white throated sparrow) plus Carolina wrens, Carolina chickadees (3), American goldfinches (2 based on head coloring differences), white breasted nuthatches (2), and tufted titmice (2). The last grouping are species for which i'm sure there are more than one (or two or three) individuals but because i can only confidentially vouch for the number of birds seen simultaneously, my count is low. Oh! There's a squirrel! I haven't seen the squirrel attempting the feeder this year, but i suppose it too could have gone after the suet.

In other bird news, my sister found a rooster she is fairly certain was "dumped" near the middle school. She's taken it home and claims she's searched for owners. We're pondering adopting it. We'll introduce Carrie to the bird this weekend and see how likely it is that Carrie will register it as prey. Which means looking for friends and a coop. We have gone back and forth about getting chickens for a while. The primary goal would be for them to be free range bug eaters, although eggs would be nice. I'd want them ranging outside the orchard.

Finally, the first native wild flower of the season: Houstonia pusilla, the tiny/small/least/dwarf bluet. I think i will dig up the four tiny plants and move them back to the mossy glade. I found some growing naturally in the glade last year, and i think it would be a fine plant to keep company with moss. Spring beauty, another ephemeral, has sent up leaves in the two places i've tried to establish transplants. And the putative Lupinus perennis has sprouted where i planted them back near the pawpaw and mulberries. Putative, because the website i ordered them from has the string "European-Lupine-Wildflower-Seeds" in the URL, but Lupinus perennis is an eastern North America native. Well, i don't have any rare butterflies to be disappointed.

LinkLeave a comment

Four day weekend [Feb. 12th, 2019|09:11 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

Friday: I think i did some chipping. I know i went into the NE small block of woods where Duke Power cut down many small trees to get to the large (about 2 ft in diameter) dead pine. I found the cherry tree they cut down so one less gripe about Duke power.

My brother came over with his middle son and daughter and we had a lovely time hanging out. The middle son is an athlete and so ran around with Carrie, possibly tiring her out. There was chatting about Dungeons and Dragons. All in all, a pleasant and warm visit.

Saturday and Sunday slipped away with grey skies, and time spent looking at seeds. I am about ready to go seed a few flats. I don't know how the flat that needs to stratify will do. The weather seems ready to give up on frosts and freezes. All the seeds i planted on Tuesday a week ago need some chill. My thoughts have an undertow of "Too late! Too late!" which isn't entirely accurate. Natural systems are diverse, and there will be seeds that need less and seeds that need more of whatever condition. Planting late isn't optimal, but the seeds that need more of the cold will be in the seed bank for next year. The early seeds will germinate. I planted some tulip bulbs at random depth in a berm on Sunday. The bulbs had already begun sprouting. Ah well, the main goal was to donate to the girl scout troop selling the bulbs in December. I did buy some plants: a beech tree to plant in the new gap in the woods, plus a few other natives to plant around the glade as we cut back the autumn olive and scraggly sweet gum. And the local farm store is selling "sticks" to use for rooting.

Yesterday was a family day, inadvertently longer and more draining than expected. Good news is that Mom might be able to move to a closer, more aggressive with therapy rehab center in two weeks. Also, my sister in law, of whom i gave an unflattering recount in last entry based on her Monday night conversation at dinner, has been hired as law faculty in Singapore. I am so relieved for her, as i think her lack of engagement in her profession was eating at her soul.

Thinking about where to plant peas, poppies, borage in the garden. Waffling back and forth on various garden layouts (but at least i have a plan for the potatoes)g. Finishing fencing the garden. Whether i can use sweet potato in the driveway circle as an edible ground cover that can defeat the stilt grass. Should i move the plants that survived deer, rain, and stilt grass into the orchard to be protected from deer and stilt grass?

LinkLeave a comment

Monday [Feb. 7th, 2019|09:48 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

Today's distraction: "Trust, but Verify"

Wikipedia has a nice background on how Regan came to use the Russian proverb during negotiations. I had had a meeting with someone who seemed clear at the end of our meeting, but then went and asked another colleague for a demo.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/trust-the-new-workplace-currency/201507/the-problem-trust-verify-approach



--== ∞ ==--

Monday was a Mom day, Read more...Collapse )

Dad and i sat on their patio for a while, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.

Monday night Read more...Collapse )

--== ∞ ==--

Tuesday, glorious weather continued, and i made use of it with a day off. I wrote a variety of letters that Christine hand delivered to mom's facility, several to be delivered to therapists by taping them to Mom's mirror. The low tech communication has driven me nuts.

Christine left, and i worked in the orchard area, preparing the ground and then seeding with all the wildflower seed mixed with vermiculite. I fight gardener doubt now, but on Tuesday the weather was so lovely and it was so delightful to be outside. Edward Cat and Carrie kept me company. The mild temperatures, blue skies, gentle sun: i was delighted by the whole day.

--== ∞ ==--

Wednesday was an intense workday. Today is less so. The weather is amazingly warm and mild, 73°F outside. Now it's 81°F. I feel behind in my personal care: my morning rituals are all scrambled. I'm taking off work again tomorrow. It will be a nice mild day and i will continue to get some of my yard priorities addressed.

LinkLeave a comment

This morning's distractions [Feb. 4th, 2019|07:45 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

On ElectoralVote today there is the statement, "you casts your vote, you takes your chances." So i pondered, "Pogo?" That is, i wondered if it was from Walt Kelley's Pogo strip. I found the quotation only at an inflammatory (well, that's the banner image) pro trump "anarchist" site on 6 Nov 2016.

Turns out it's an evolution of an old (1840s) showmans pitch, "you pays your money, you takes your choice" per The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When By Ralph Keyes. The slow shift of "choice" to "chance(s)" is intriguing.



Meanwhile
* have a cold
* brother's family about to head to Tampa
* taking time off work, but not feeling as vital as i need to be to do the yard work i wanted
* mourning over Duke power's contractors' collateral damage to a 6" diameter redbud and a 4" diameter cherry tree (and irritated someone took the cherry tree wood). And by collateral damage, intentional cutting down of those trees.

Link1 comment|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 26th, 2019|07:30 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Mom was very sweet when i saw her on Friday night, thanking me for the "party." (And, boy was she REVELING in Roger Stone's arrest). We watched a NEtflix downloaded NCIS and a silly cat video (yay, i now know how to download youtube videos to the iPad to watch with Mom). I that seeing her in the evening means she's probably tired and DONE, so i shouldn't assume her attitude is all i see. But she doesn't seem to have any focus on healing, no interest in thinking about her therapies. I am brought down because i don't know how to pry her from CNN and hating the place.

Well, not my job. I just hate the thought of Dad paying for the level of care at home we saw we needed from the brief four days.

In good news, she's getting an emotional therapist. Yay.

Anyhow, that all just exhausts me. Today i was distracted by SyncMate, an app of which i apparently became an "Lifetime Upgrades" owner years ago. At some point it became ineffective in synchronizing data between the mac and the android phone. I checked on it today, though, and wow -- it seems to work again. So, if my phone will stay bluetooth connected long enough, i will eventually get music on my phone (which i have just punted on for ages) and i will get photos off (which i have done clumsily for a long time).

I didn't visit with family today -- my brother's family is here from Singapore. I think instead of going to Meeting tomorrow, Christine and i will sit in quiet for a while.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 25th, 2019|07:26 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

From my sister, at 7:30 am yesterday. Ashe and Leo are their young lab-Aussie cross dogs.

Oh my... crazy night. Ashe got her jaw stuck in Leo’s collar and strangled him. I went to urgent care for an accidental dog bite (from detangling them) and Leo was at NCSU vet ER until 12:30am. Good news: he is all fine! But the two of them think the other was being mean and they are wary of each other :(

It was terrible

And the two of them all timid around each other breaks my heart :(

[My niece] came with to the urgent care. I just wanted antibiotics on hand and to get it cleaned proper.



I talked to my sister later in the day, got details on strangling that make police procedurals look sanitized, and offered to bring her clan pizza for dinner. Which we did, although she was away at a work dinner. Conversation with her family is always lovely. And her spouse mentioned how horrible it was despite watching many police procedurals.

The dogs were friends again when we saw them. It turns out it was sequential medical visits, first to urgent care while T-- & W-- stayed home to monitor Leo's behavior and wait for the emergency vet to call back. Then the emergency vet was a little panicked and sent my sister off to the ER, where the ER vets were much more sanguine about the situation.

Meanwhile, email from my brother, 1 pm ish: "Sisters - pls warn dad that our flight is being rescheduled. I will send details once they reroute." There weren't any details that i saw last night, so i don't know what has happened there. He had a flight leaving JFK for Raleigh just about 5 pm. I recommend to everyone who flies https://flightaware.com/miserymap/ A time lapse of radar weather data across CONUS is superimposed with graphs for each airport or city indicating the amount of flights and the fraction delayed and cancelled.

Off to work at the coworking place this afternoon and see mom this evening. I keep telling myself that this is prying me out of my hermit crab home, and the region won't seem so distant and unfamiliar once i'm done. First Chapel Hill grew much closer. Now Raleigh, which i hardly knew as i was growing up, despite school and college there, may become a little more familiar as opposed to unconnected vignettes glanced out back seat car windows when i looked up from a book.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 24th, 2019|07:09 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Do you have access to Cook's Illustrated and could get me access to the recommendations on Small Food Processors Published December 2015 .

I'm interested in finding an around 3 cup processor for pesto and hummus and fruit pastes.

LinkLeave a comment

Draft Sanitized Message [Jan. 23rd, 2019|11:18 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Drafting a message to family & mom's friends will have to stand in for journaling today. The messages need to be delicately sanitized so as to not be misinterpreted and to not violate my mom's privacy. But, but, but....

I was very upset Tuesday morning after a Monday evening call from my sister and father. They found Mom terrified that she had been abandoned. They helped address that misunderstanding, but it's still hard. Mom's ongoing attitude and apparent cognitive gaps in understanding worry me. My sister is wrangling minister visits in hope of some emotional therapy. We continue to try and find a trained therapist.

Seeing Mom last night was a little reassuring -- more to see how little improvements have been made in the space than to see any change with her. But she was lovely and kind in thanking me for the help and problem solving i was attempting.

Read more...Collapse )

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

In other news [Jan. 21st, 2019|08:01 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

Felt down, depressed yesterday. I visited Mom on Friday and again on Saturday with my niece. Mom wants out and is almost paranoid about the place where she's staying, saying that they don't want her to have cards and art on her wall or for her to use crayons.

I left a note but will call today to try and talk to the occupational therapist. Mom needs to learn to manipulate her environment (TV remote, bed controls). She also needs to be up in the wheel chair more (although i'm not sure if i've just seen her during resting hours).

As an antidote, i made mom a stroke recovery journal. It's a work of plagarism, more or less, assembling tips on stroke recovery from one web page with various "wellness" practices like gratitude and questioning negative thoughts, loving kindness practice, and psalms and some bible verses about healing. Two weeks, eighty pages. It's better than any book i could find, and inspired (and cribbed) from a number of wellness workbooks.

LinkLeave a comment

Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse [Jan. 21st, 2019|08:01 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

The eclipse was not late, as eclipses go. Christine was able to get up a couple years ago to watch one in California. I'm not up for disturbing my sleep in the middle of the night, but this wasn't *that* late. Later than i normally stay up, but i'm sure i had six solid hours of sleep.


On a large enough screen you might be able to see Orion towards the right. The fully eclipsed moon left the sky dark and didn't blow out this image.

It was a cold night, but Christine struck on the idea of sitting in the car and getting the car toasty, so that worked admirably with the small exception that only one of us was able to sit in a relaxed position to watch. Oh, for a moon roof. Still, rather amazing to watch the night grow darker, the stars pop out of a moon blue sky, and eventually the moon turn red. (The shadow was in too much contrast to pick up color for quite a while.)



A hand held shot with lots of blur, but the red shows up.

The shots are nothing like the naked eye experience. We have a 200° x 150° visual field, per wikipedia, and the moon is just 1° wide. Yet we can focus on the detail within that 1° and (in my case) be aware there is more detail on the surface. (I can barely resolve stars in the seven sisters, so I know other people have sharper naked eye vision.) It takes the 10x magnification on the phone camera to begin to get the sense of visual size, yet that cuts off so much of the view. And when the phone widens out to the greatest field, the moon becomes a tiny dot.

In my memory, the last ten minutes before totality were striking as the bright penumbral light was still overwhelming the rest of the moon lost in the umbra. Then, at totality, the moon took on such a strange quality: how could something brighter than night black seem like a hole in the sky?

The most remarkable part of the experience for me was the change of light in the landscape. The full moon light, even in the penumbra, had been so bright i was able to get a sense of color in the yard. The sky was glowing and one could hardly see stars. As the umbra crossed the face of the moon the sense of an illuminated landscape faded, the stars became brighter, and neightbors' lights cast shadows through the trees.

This morning, Venus and Jupiter were bright, but i woke too late to see if they cast shadows. They are also low enough in the sky that they are lost in the trees. Tomorrow is their conjunction.

LinkLeave a comment

Oh so distracted [Jan. 17th, 2019|10:36 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

Six different species at the feeder this morning. The usual tufted titmouse and Carolina chickadee, with a pair of Cardinals wandering around underneath. Then the distinctive (comparatively) shape of a nuthatch got me to look with the binoculars: a red-breasted nuthatch. And a Carolina wren, an eastern phoebe, and a pair of goldfinches. Whee!

Yesterday i found a arrowhead!! I was digging up Star of Bethlehem so Carrie and the cats don't try eating it as grass, and noticed the symmetric chip of stone. I think it's the first arrowhead i have ever found. Using http://www.projectilepoints.net/Search/NorthCarolina_Bifurcated_Other.html, i think it's most like Culpepper or St Albans, both of which are Early Archaic, 8000 years before the present. Which is kind of ... awe inspiring. (I go to touch it again.)

Also, i was digging up Star of Bethlehem bulbs. *cough* I am unlikely to run out and eradicate it because it is not as problematic as similarly aggressively-spreading non-natives. There are certainly native spring ephemerals i would love to replace it with, but it's not outcompeting them, particularly. Since this was all plowed ground, naturally getting small, native species back that aren't wind or bird distributed takes a nice bit of luck. The ones i have found so far are Partridge berry (Mitchella repens) easily explained by birds, Spotted wintergreen ... maybe seed capsules were caught in a critter's fur and then brought here? Once one was here, it does spread by rhizomes and the spread throughout the woods makes sense. The most mysterious for me is Spring Beauty. I've found two small clusters so far. I can't imagine them being brought by ants this far from the creek. I suppose i can imagine the seeds in mud that deer tracked up the hill, falling, and then establishing the small colonies. One was on the septic field so it was less than 25 years since establishment. http://www.nomadseed.com/2016/11/spring-beauty-claytonia-virginica/


Mom care this week: a visit to the hospital, before she was moved. Helping dad pick a good nursing facility (which was disappointing, as the nearby one is awful). Calls to find out what Dad needed to take for mom. Newsletter emails. Medical appointment wrangling and logistic calculations: morning appointments with the worst area traffic between the rehab center in Raleigh and the hospital in Chapel Hill.

Tomorrow i will visit her after i check out a coworking location very close to the nursing home, with the idea that a midday drive is less likely to hit traffic, and working from Raleigh for four hours should be agreeable. Then i can visit mom in the early evening and drive home after traffic clears.

LinkLeave a comment

Music happiness [Jan. 14th, 2019|10:13 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Last night Christine called me over to the keyboard to do vocal practice, which counts as practice for her. We did some chromatic exercises, and then i asked if we could do blues scale practice. Again, good practice for her, and WOW, the blues scale is so much more fun. Christine says i have a normal two octave range but she was surprised that i am a contralto. I'm not surprised!\

Anyhow, it was a delight to do vocal practice with her.

The practices are based around the practices from "Voice Lessons To Go" by Ariella Vaccarino. I bought and used those some years ago while commuting to work as a way to relax. Doing the practices again brought to mind the lanes of dense traffic going up 101 to San Mateo.

This morning Christine found the youtube recording of three sisters (the eldest was 14 at the time) playing Enter Sandman. What a rocking cover! So, i've tracked down their band's site, The Warning, shed a few tears of delight over their story, and bought their first studio LP, XXI CENTURY BLOOD. I'm thinking of asking for their second album on vinyl, autographed, for my birthday.

LinkLeave a comment

Ooof x 2 [Jan. 13th, 2019|10:28 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

So, i went over and spent the day with Mom and Dad on Thursday and Friday. Then there was an extra day, which we are calling ER-day, where Christine and I stayed in the ER with Mom & Dad, and then there was Saturday, where i could not sleep in, and ended up watching hours and hours of Netflix's Lucifer in a daze.

Mom at home reverted to Mom of pre-cognitive decline bitter anger. longishCollapse )

Mom has broken her ankle on her weak leg. The splint will essentially be the same as the boot she should have been wearing but got lost at the hospital. She will be able to continue to have her leg recover from the stroke. And this will give the medical team another chance to evaluate sub-acute rehab care, and Mom will go from hospital to sub acute care, which is apparently easier than from home.

I had said to Christine on Thursday night, when reflecting on my mother's hissy-fit when we brought her home on Tuesday, and her temper-tantrum on Thursday (not sharing the physical kicking and hitting), that i felt i was emotionally prepared to deal with Mom's behavior. "She can't betray me any more than she has," i said. And with that behind me, any reiteration of the emotional abuse from childhood - asserting her judgements of my unfitness as a human being - will slide off because i know the statements are completely untrue.

What i am not prepared for is my anger for how she treats my father and the bind she puts him in.

There is also a selfish tired voice in my mind grumbling about all the time i took off last week and how it was "for naught."

We will now be far more prepared when mom comes home again, starting with 24 or 12 hour care and then working to what is sustainable, instead of testing our ability and bringing help in if needed. I had been reflecting on all the therapists and the absence of a psychological therapist in the care team. I called my sister and asked her to get in touch with my mom's primary care provider and the need for psychological assessment. Minimally, Mom needs some help in addressing her denial around her bodily needs. Ideally, assessments about appropriateness of care will include Mom's willingness to work with Dad. Admittedly, the presence of an "authority" (paid caregiver) will inspire more cooperation than she's willing to give to my father.

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

Ooof. [Jan. 9th, 2019|11:32 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

Saturday i woke very early. Venus was bright as i let the critters out for the dawn rumpus. Since i was awake, i slipped out to go visit my Dad (who rises incredibly early) as he and i both had agendas to meet while seated at the computer. He fixed me an egg sandwich and, after discussion, coached me on how to order it from his short order chef days. Apparently, i want my fried eggs "Over hard."

We spent hours talking about how to manage their Apple devices and storage, with me hitting on some specific things, like making a secret apple ID that can be used to set up FaceTime with auto-answer on their old iPhones to use as monitors. (Aunt is sending walkie talkies that have the usability issue, identified by my aunt, that mom will need to push a button to make it work. I had sent the iPhone auto-answer plan in the email i sent yesterday. Whatever.) Set up the Google calendar my sister and i had been sharing for care on their apple calendar. And so on.

I was pretty drained when i got home, but helped Christine unpack our Yule gift to ourselves: a great big tool cabinet for the garage. Consolidation of tools ahead! This is the year of the garage, we tell ourselves.

Sunday, Christine crashed a little at the thought of me leaving early again. So instead of getting to my parents at 8:30 it was 9:30. I think i will need to keep Sunday mornings for us and then for me to go to Meeting. My sister and i decluttered, removed leaves from tables, moved the twin bed downstairs and made it up, while my Dad built the "wedges" that don't meet code as a ramp, but will improve the safety of getting the wheelchair up and down the two different 5" rises. After that i tackled some technology challenges, leaving my mother's machine painfully downloading the latest version of the Apple OS and taking her iPad 2 home to upgrade to the version of iOS last supported on that device. Fortunately the version is sufficient to support the $75 language therapy application. It took all afternoon painful iPad stuffCollapse )

Monday, training in the morning with the hectic sense of care in the hospital with constant interruptions. Work in the afternoon, with an "ARGH!" when i poked an issue with the internal support desk about boring tech issueCollapse )

Yesterday Mom came home. Christine offered significant logistics support, taking me to the hospital, taking the commode chair and some supplies from the hospital to my folks'. In the evening she brought over a table i had ordered (and had delivered to our home without thinking) plus Chipotle bowls for us all. My mother marveled at the flavors and beauty of the lettuce, beans and tomatoes -- evidence of what a month of hospital food can do when you have the least dietary constraint. (She needs foods that won't cause choking.)

Between Christine's morning & evening help, the biggest challenges is the assistance with Mom's transfers: hospital wheelchair to new wheelchair to car to new wheel chair to toilet to new wheelchair. Mom's strong, but still very confused about why she needs help and what the steps are that we ask her to do. She also doesn't understand, it seems, why she must use the commode chair and not the regular commode. And then the hissy-fit she had over how we had rearranged the master bedroom! My parents' arguments are bad enough, but with the comprehension challenges there's an additional level of communication challenges. I finally understood enough about mom mpother's concerns that i could mediate and explain the problems and proposed coping until the weekend. My sister has some solutions we can try then. The biggest concern on my mother's side i think is that it doesn't look good and Dad has to get into their bed on my mother's side of the bed. Dad keeps wanting mom's bed and commode to be in the living area which my sister and i keep stopping.

Today, i am trying to work and have done a decent job. Right now a colleague is defending his use of the word "angsty" so i get to finish reviewing my past few days.

LinkLeave a comment

Dream residue [Jan. 4th, 2019|11:14 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , , , ]

"Dream residue" -- good name for a band?

Back at my work desk with the bright light blazing in my face.

The training went well Wednesday. I was drained by being so alert to everyone's energy: sister, mother, father, aunt. In the evening my sister thanked me for the "chill out" warning i flashed to her when my dad was practicing the pivot transfer with my mom. Most of my energy was trying to make space for my mom, who was ready to engage with her therapists, and my dad, who can get pounced on by women-folk in our family. That is, he can ask a question or say something to try to be humorous and get corrected pretty quickly.

reflections on trainersCollapse )

After training i had lunch with my dad and aunt, then bolted off to my therapy appointment. My therapist's mother had a stroke, and so she may be a one person caregiver support group. In the evening i met my condition of enoughness, marking the locations for more fence posts around the garden so i can pound them in as small tasks during lunch, and then getting the halogen work lamp and long power cord arranged so i can use that to work after dark.

My aunt has managed to antagonize us all.Collapse )

We have more rain, the top layer of soil is so completely saturated.... I worry about many of the new trees and new grass drowning. Looks like we will have a week without rain after this, though so maybe we can have a bit of a drying out.

Work was OK on Thursday, but i'm not off to a great start today. I'm getting frustrated with the RSA phone app that will theoretically give me access to the VPN. It would be good to use the app now that i am will be going back and forth to my folks house to work, but if it won't initiate....

LinkLeave a comment

Whole conversations [Jan. 2nd, 2019|06:44 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

I wrote this email to my siblings, father, and aunt last night to celebrate the conversations i had with my Mom. Read more...Collapse )

--== ∞ ==--

I sobbed when i got home, Christine suggests it was relief. And that is probably much of it, although knowing more from Mom about her angers and frustrations does make that a bit more real.

I am also anxious about the training today. I think my worries are

1) wondering if there are too many of us taking the training,
2) and the corollary of my aunt's presence in the dynamics of the discussions with the doctor.
3) Will the training anticipate all of our questions and needs? The care has been proactive so far, educating us, without us needed to fight and advocate.
4) Will we recognize what we need to know that is not covered?

5) What sort of care and coaching will Mom need 24/7? Will my sister and i be able to work from my folk's house and actually work while meeting needs?

All to unfold, and much to be answered today.

LinkLeave a comment

Happy New Year! [Dec. 31st, 2018|06:21 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]

I woke to a list of new addresses from my father for the news letter about my mom. So, i added them and then i wrote a note to the list: Read more...Collapse )

Responses! I didn't mean to prompt quite so much advice today, but wow, did the new people on the list provide some feedback. One person seemed to have had quite the traumatic experience in a residential rehab facility.

I declared email bankruptcy shortly after Mom's stroke and have been able to get to zero first thing in the morning except for today -- but i just replied to all the well wishes. It's a new habit, and it might be good for me to reply promptly instead of waiting until i have just the right mental state to be thoughtful. It seems, perhaps, a thoughtful reply isn't as hard as i thought it was.

--== ∞ ==--

When i saw Mom today, she got out almost a complete sentence. I really do hear improvements day to day.

We had a nice dinner with my dad and my aunt tonight with the take-out eggplant parmesan from our favorite restaurant in town.

Sleepy.

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

Another bit of Yule [Dec. 30th, 2018|08:18 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

My sister waved me off from going up to see Mom yesterday, so with a little bit of energy i tried to make the most of the day. I hemmed two tea towels as gifts, trying not to be too much of a perfectionist about it. I think i'm getting the hang of the miter seam at the corners.

We had Christine's sister & her husband over for dinner. I'd bought Alaskan black cod (aka sablefish*) when i bought the salmon, so we served that with a salad (out of a bag). D-- brought cheesy grits made with blue corn, and that made a delightful meal. We will have my Dad and mom's sister over on New Year's eve with lasagna from a nearby restaurant: an unusual round of entertaining for us!

Christine's not feeling great this morning - the cold i've had is probably taking a toll on her.

I've a sense of urgency about getting organized and clear about next priorities. I don't know how much of an impact Mom's care will have on me. I think i probably have the capacity if i become better at time management.

I don't think i mentioned it but i recently read a NY Times article on "The Brain Fog of Menopause." I've been aware since before we moved of a sense that i was slower, that things took longer, and i'd just written it off to the inevitability of aging. The thought that a mental sharpness might return on a rebound is delightful and wonderful.


*I'd also seen it sold as butterfish in California, but looking up "butterfish" on line it seems a common name for a number of species, some of which seem unappetizing.

LinkLeave a comment

Wettest year on record locally [Dec. 30th, 2018|06:38 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

It's the wettest year on record! ..., and we are at 59.2" of liquid precip. And we still have a few days to go in 2018... #ncwx
— Don Schwenneker (@BigweatherABC11) December 28, 2018



Well, this makes me very glad i got my rain gauge in March. Since i began keeping records on March 11, i've measured 63.06" of precipitation - that's more even without the precipitation of January and February. I'd been suspicious that where i was is wetter than at the airport and now i know we are.

I am glad we got the rain "garden" in this year: i would imagine that we would wash our driveway away if the roof run off had been pouring down it. At this point, the garden is just rain earthworks, a square basin with three raised areas to force the water to take a sinuous route to the overflow. I hope i get plants from the seeding.

Everything outside is like a wet sponge. Ugh

Well, all this rain should stop when i get the rain tank catchment set up and my sister gets her rain gauge up.

Skimming the headlines about the record wet year i read that last year was the warmest on record for North Carolina. Here's hoping to less exciting years to come (although i don't expect that to be the case unless the US & China get serious about restricting carbon emissions).

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Dec. 28th, 2018|10:45 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

Oh, the brain fog.

And some depression.

I think i may have been in denial and maybe it's just beginning to sink in. Maybe the comment from the rehab case worker about mom needing 24/7 supervision because of cognitive issues jarred me. Physically, right now, she seems to need the 24/7 supervision... but cognitively.... I realize that the physical incapacity may be hiding much more loss.

So i am here for her care and my own aging stretches in front of me. Being under the weather is not helping now, with ache and weakness making the future look like an uphill-downhill: all the effort of going up hill while declining.

My father talks about having someone to tell your story. Childless, i never expected that for myself, but i am aware of wanting to make this little patch of land a source of native plant seeds to be spread by critters. Some sort of ecological legacy would be meaningful.

...

Christine came home from the vet -- Edward has some rash or infection on his chin that is apparently not feline acne -- and we had a nice long talk. I feel a little lighter now.

The bright SAD lamp is on and we have lots of lights on in the house to fight the gloom outside. More rain.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Dec. 26th, 2018|07:01 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

This morning was luminous with moonlight on frost. The cats walked in the orchard with delicate crunching with ice crisp leaves underfoot.

I sit holding Christine, who woos back sleep against her morning terrors. I think of trees. Beeches, two, to seed my ark-lot, to have their pale winter leaves shining in the woods like the three young trees we found on my sister's new bit of property from a trade with a neighbor. The tulip poplars tall and strong, with such a will to grow straight up: the tree that has a main trunk at 45 degrees to the ground with all the new trunks growing straight up I keep as a study to see how long it grows at such a cantilevered fight with gravity.

What i sent to Mom's mailing list:

There was no holiday from therapy for Mom, for which we are thankful. I didn't see her for three days while dealing with a nasty cold, so i hoped i'd see the improvements more clearly. And i do. While right side weakness and the aphasia are still very significant, her face is alight with curiosity and energy. Her left hand moves with a fluidity in handling things. More words come to her lips and her hand signals seem more easily interpreted. Part of her rehab is going back and singing the ABC's -- and i needed to be reminded to go slow. I didn't ask her to show me her thumb, like her doctor did to determine her integration of perception a week ago, but she seems to be more coherently aware.

Dad with with her early Christmas, before he joined my sister's family, [me] & her spouse for Christmas lunch. We brought desert, a panettone Mom had purchased for the holiday, and coffee to the hospital after Mom's therapies and all of us sat and chatted for a while. Mom counted us off as we sat in an arc around the bed. Ross then returned in the evening. Mom's sister J-- will arrive tomorrow.

We are thankful for everyone's love and support for Mom.

I'd share photos except we keep forgetting to take any. Mom would document the holidays and family gatherings, and it just slips by us without her there. Word-pictures are what we have!

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Dec. 25th, 2018|06:54 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|, , , ]

First, Mom looks great. More light in her eyes, more curiosity. More strength. A few more words. A long way to go. Some reading helps me to believe they are sending her home because there are good rehab outcomes for people at home, not because that's that.

notes from a rehab studyCollapse )


I was well enough to commit the entree extravaganza. Yesterday i prepared sauces and rice stuffings, which was a couple hours in the kitchen getting everything prepared and packaged to go. Today i sliced a long slit along the belly edge of the two sides of coho salmon. One i stuffed with wild rice, celery and shallots, and cranberries sauced with juniper and rosemary. I applied a rub of ground fresh rosemary and juniper and laid it on a bed of rosemary. The other i stuffed with mixed rices, celery, onion, and shallots, capers, and added a lemon caper sauce. It was laid on a bed of lemons and then more lemon slices applied. At my sister i poured a glaze over them and baked. Voila! Food. It was well appreciated, and i feel a little pride that i pulled off making up recipes and having them be not horrible. I mean, it's audacious to do something like that and i was afraid i'd make the salmon resinous and unpalatable, but no -- tart cranberries, the sweetness of added sugar, the juniper-rosemary resinous sharpness all worked well together.

For folks on the east coast, an Alaskan fish vendor recommendationCollapse )

I'm currently feeling exhausted and drained. I don't feel like it's been that much, but i guess i am still recovering.

LinkLeave a comment

A good Yule to you [Dec. 24th, 2018|07:41 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]


Alice, the chicken sculpture, with twinkle lights wraped around her, standing  in the snow

Alice, the chicken sculpture, with more lights, at night


This is Alice, our Chicken sculpture, decked for the holidays.

LinkLeave a comment

Sick, again [Dec. 23rd, 2018|08:01 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

The cold i tried to work through Monday-Tuesday slapped me in the face on Friday (which i had taken off to observer our anniversary), and walloped me Saturday. I sat on the couch all Saturday dozing through "Walking Through History" episodes.

Today, i went with Christine to the cemetery in Durham where her parents and extended family are interred. I walked Carrie around a loop, sending a flock of killdeer into flight several times, and watched a red-bellied woodpecker in a tree for a bit. Christine cleaned the faces of the mausoleum vaults and arranged new artificial flowers. Carrie and i watched others make similar visits to grave sides.

Being sick i've been out of the loop with respect to mom to some extent. I believe she's improving, because her therapist noted an improvement from one day to the next when i was last there. They plan to send her home, not off to more rehab. I don't know if that's because they think that home care leads to better outcomes or if it's because home care is the most economical and comforatble care for long term.

I wish i knew what to expect in a year. For her to be able to assist others in getting her to a wheel chair and to a toilet?

I recall a neighbor who i could not understand, but whose sons seemed to interpret clearly. I can easily believe we may get to a point where the family has facility interpreting her nonverbal communications and garbled words. Her facial expressions are clear. Will she be able to ever clearly express desires? Right now effective pointing doesn't even happen: she points off into a middle distance over her left shoulder at nothing periodically. At one time i thought it was to change the blinds at the window, then i saw her doing the same thing in a different room without a window. When i was in the same room with the doctor she didn't know how to show her thumb on her right hand to him, despite using it capably.

I've not seen her for three days, an wonder how she will seem to me tomorrow.

I've offered to Dad that i will work from their house some days to be respite for him. They're going to get broadband, so that might have some positive trade-offs.

LinkLeave a comment

Headlines [Dec. 20th, 2018|09:03 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

Insomnia on Wednesday morning, coped well.

Brother stood up Christine and I for breakfast.

Worries about level of attention in rehab unit assuaged by visit.

Discovered care plan is for 10-13 days, so she'll be moving with the new year. Destination unknown.

Did have CAA diagnosis confirmed.

LinkLeave a comment

Sunday had sunshine; Monday means a move [Dec. 17th, 2018|05:46 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]

I'm spending time managing information flow -- receiving emails of concern and drafting a message about what's up to go out to a list of family and friends.

Today i stopped work around 2:30 because i'm feeling sick. I meant to take a nap, but i've been phone call - text - email gal. I'm not complaining: i can do this. I also spent some time trying to figure out when my mom fell when she and my sister's family and i were walking near my mom's house. I can't think of unique enough search terms to find it.


Here's the mailing list announcements, with appropriate redactions, from yesterday and today
Read more...Collapse )

LinkLeave a comment

If i never hear Camelot again it will be too soon [Dec. 16th, 2018|08:21 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Short news: i am doing OK, we're feeling a little more optimistic as Mom has gotten some rest and food. It's a long road of rehab ahead.


moreCollapse )
Anyhow, if you happen to know of books you would recommend about stroke recovery that are available via Audible or a recorded book on Overdrive that is something i'd appreciate. It looks like tons of Heartwarming and Inspiring Stories of Recovery are available, but i will have no patience with repetitive or slow narratives.

LinkLeave a comment

24 hours later [Dec. 13th, 2018|09:07 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Mom had a hemorrhagic stroke last night.

notes for future meCollapse )

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

Complete distraction yesterday [Dec. 12th, 2018|07:01 am]
E.G.
I was delighted for sunlight blazing over the snow yesterday. The icy temperatures overnight (low 20s) hardened up the snow and slush to slow the melting, and it didn't warm up much despite the bright clear skies. It was cold again last night, so we have another morning of bright snow shimmering in the rosy sunrise.

Despite the sunlight, i rebelled against getting to work. I don't know how much is me worrying about my parents. I spoke with them Monday to find that their long stint without power had, despite the fireplace they have used in the past, let my mom terribly chilled. I realize what they may be realizing: a mild discomfort in the past can become a risky health situation now. They went off to find a hotel room outside of the ice and snow zone, towards the coast, and then ran errands at the military base in Fayetteville yesterday. (Dad is retired Navy reserve, and thus has access to the discounted groceries at the base commissary.)

Mom's appointment this morning is just another test, an electromyography study, and Dad waved me off from coming. My sister was feeling one of us should be there. But i think the person we would be comforting would be my father, as he waits for the test to complete. I don't think he needs that sort of support: he is pretty self sufficient in entertaining himself and anyone with whom he converses.

I did walk with Christine (who was having a bad day herself) and Carrie (who probably missed chase time these past few days) at the community college track, which was mostly clear.

I did not work on the tea towels.

I have really turned the tea towels into a monster and need to get with it.

I'll try harder to get myself together today at work.

LinkLeave a comment

navigation
[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]