There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark



Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dear Diary,

I'm sorry for not writing sooner. I haven't been unfaithful....no looking at Faces in Books, no bird sounds Tweeting in the house......no, I can't even be creative in giving you a reason why. To borrow a line from Dickens....It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

I won't go on and on about it all. It is painful at the end....so I'll start at the beginning.

At the end of June we were basking in the glow of becoming bird grandparents once again. The Barn Swallow babies were poking their little helmet heads out of the bird box house, waiting for mom and dad to bring 43,000 meals a day. Nine years of bird babies and we still get excited about these marvelous creatures.



Then we had Steph and AnthonEy here for the 4th of July. What a great time we all had. The best adventure was AnthonEy fishing for the first time with Papa. A fish was caught and a lesson taught about the fun of fishing and releasing your catch. A fishing line was tangled only six times that first day. The joy of grand parenting was at its peak.


Then on the 16th of July Christine arrived for a visit. When she walked down the arrival steps at the baggage area guess what she had carried on the plane all the way from California? A dogie. She brought us a bundle of love in a boy version of Violet. Petey. He had gone through a lot since April of this year; lost, picked up by animal control, transferred to a no kill facility at the last minute and found by Chris. He is wonderful. Someone either lost or gave away a perfect 2 year old dogie. He is ours now.

He likes tummy rubs and chasing squirrels up trees. He snaps at flies almost as if Penelope was whispering in his ear about technique. He is potty and crate trained. Yup, he is perfect and Violet kind of likes him.


Saying good-bye was hard for Chris, Violet and Petey.
Dads, kids and dogs.....life was good.


The computer issues that had started while Stephanie and AnthonEy were here of course turned into a costly nightmare. We opted for a new system that was finally installed last Friday. It took two days to get the system registered and email up again. HughesNet does not transfer information when a new system is installed and we have done that 4 times. Registration starts all over again and Selena (as in the singer), Gerard (as in Butler), Alec (as in Baldwin), and George (as in Clooney) took 6 hours one day to figure it all out. Florence (as in Nightingale) took 22 minutes the next day to fix 6 hours of errors from the previous day. I still have to sync my Blackberry to my email but I can do that myself....maybe.

Old dish on the left. Remember that mess? New dish on a pole in cement further out.

Trench for wires....not finished yet. Good thing Steve had Guido to supervise.


Then......THEN, the day after Chris left.....the 20th, I got a late afternoon call from her. She started the conversation by saying, Mom, don't get mad at me......I'm in the ER at Hoag. The short version is: She worked all day with chest and left arm pain and then drove herself to the ER. She didn't want to call Todd because he and Tyler were at surf camp on vacation so I called him. She was miserable, in pain, being fed NTG like M&M's, had an echo and stress test that showed heart damage, went on to have angiography that couldn't find the damage, barfed her guts out numerous times, couldn't shower (women will understand) and was sent home Wednesday night. I arrived the same evening after finally getting a ticket for under 1200 smackeroos. She needed sleep, rest and I hope her mom. She is still having pain episodes and is being treated for Chondro Chondritis, but her family doc isn't sure that she is out of the woods at all. More to follow as the puzzle is put together.

So.......here are my thoughts on this whole thing.....

Why did my daughter think I would be mad at her? Because she worked all day in pain or because I am a bitch?

This is out of sequence....my daughter shouldn't have to be going through this. It is absolutely not her turn. She exercises, takes care of herself, yes, she does need to change some dietary issues......but she is in her early 40's. It should be my turn.

Why is it that the only way I can cope with life is to clean, clean, clean? I cleaned my daughter's house...she has a housekeeper that comes in twice a month. I managed to make my grandson angry with my cleaning. All I did for my girl was tell her to lay flat, take a nap, stop bending her leg, get some sleep, ask her about her coffee, watch movies with her. What am I worth? The cost of a vacuum? Is that all I have given my kids?

For some reason....my uselessness I guess.....for the first time in 11 years I felt like a visitor in California. It was the first time I had ever stayed with my children....in their home, in a grandchild's bed. It felt off line. I have become a cliche....You can never go home again....that's for sure...no childhood in my future.

Steve managed just fine while I was gone. Right before I left the DVR went out. He didn't miss it and waited for me to get back home before he installed the new one. I only needed to leave 3 pages of instructions for the care of the pets. He washed his dishes, managed to find the dirty clothes hamper, did the bulk of the trench/satellite work by himself, and flushed the toilet without one reminder from me. I asked him if he felt good about batching it. He told me my job was secure and he was happy to be an uninformed husband again. I wonder.

I am so far behind in reading blogs I'm in 2008. I feel like closing shop, going away from blog land, living in a cave for a while but am not sure I want that either. I am afraid...afraid for my daughter, afraid I can't cope with life and loss. Everything changes, everything stays the same. I am still....just....rosemary in lower case letters.

Friday, July 03, 2009

And the winner is.......

Have I mentioned that Gil is in Louisville, Kentucky? No? He is.

Have I mentioned that he is there for the USA Cycling Nationals? No? He is.

Did I mention the race is at Churchill Downs? No? It is.

Did I tell you he placed in the top 20 in his first race? No? Well, he most certainly did.

Did I tell you he and his friend Chris were in the Tandem Race on Wednesday? Did I mention Tandem Racing difficult? No? It is.

DID I TELL YOU THEY WON THE RACE? I DIDN'T?

THEY WON!!!!!





Gil races for Amgen. It is a Master's racing team.....that means, if I understand correctly, it is a team of men that have been racing for awhile, are seasoned racers and have a number of wins around their necks. Yup. That's my boy!!!

Have I mentioned that my daughter-in-law is a saint? She is. Love you, Mariko!


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Questions, I need to know stuff, facts....

.....that crossed my mind while mowing the frickin lawn yesterday because my iPod was dead.

If I eat a bag of cherry cordials a week but have not gained weight, should I worry?

What would possess a woman to go on Judge Joe Brown and wear a Muu Muu?

Is it OK to yell at drivers going 60 down my road slow the hell down assh@!e?

If I have only one close friend am I antisocial?

Is it to late to start another career....like law school or something?

Should I keep praying if the one prayer I say isn't getting the job done?

Did you know that age spots won't come off even if you scrub your skin raw? Doesn't work on wrinkles either.

At my age long or short hair? Makeup....more or less?

Is 65 old or late middle age?

I wonder if my mother's second hand smoke will kill me.

Do all of those fans really miss Michael Jackson or are they weird?

If I vacuum, dust and mop floors every day am I O/C or is having 4 cats and a dog a good reason?

Is there someplace on earth where it is always 78 degrees with a slight breeze, no smog, small population, economical living and no traffic? Where?

Is it wrong to hate it when people drop in?

Do you think printed on paper words will become obsolete? Ever?

Is it wrong to blame the dog if she doesn't know I am doing it?

Is low self esteem inherited or environmentally absorbed?

If I tell a fib for Steve is it my fib or his?

Why can't I just sit down and relax? Why can't I sit on the couch and read? See cherry cordials and vacuuming.

Is there really women's work and men's work or just work?

What if I need just a few more hours a day? Who do I contact?

Are kids, grand kids, cats and dogs all the same when it comes to loving them?

I hate, absolutely hate mowing the lawn. I always manage to hit a dragonfly or run over a frog. I HATE mowing the lawn. The only thing I hate worse are people that hurt my kids.

I would like to hear from my dad......Hello, Daddy? I have some questions. I need you like now, please.

My ongoing query....what happens to all of my thoughts, memories, heartaches, love after I am gone....Dad? I need you right now...come on...call me, I have questions.



Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Fat cats.....

I have to let all of you know....Mimi reads/critiques my blog all of the time. She noticed that a number of you (ummm, three people I think) used these words in comments in the last post with her pictured in between photos of little tiny birds.....big Mimi cat fat. Her feelings were kind of hurt. Mimi sees herself as a full figured kitty....kind of like Venus de Milo but with arms and paws. Sniff.

Have I told you she is Fuzz's litter sister? That their mom was a regal Siamese kitty with real registered cat papers? That their mom got a little drunk one night and was unfaithful? Several times?

Did you know that Mimi has been on a diet since she was 2? She went from regular cat food to light cat food to Science Diet MD which is an Atkins's Kitty kinda Diet. She gets 1/3 of a cup of food a day. Sniff. She has to eat by herself in the little bathroom so no one steals her food. Did you know that Mimi has been in a bad mood since 1999?

I have always thought that Mimi was a beautiful cat. She has ocean green eyes and orange ticking on her fur. When she was a kitten she was happy and playful, but then something changed. She exercised very little, she slept more than the average cat, she had kitty dandruff, stopped interacting with Fuzz and Drakie and I was sure she had a thyroid problem. Nope, her thyroid was fine. And that was the start of more vet visits than I can count. There were diet changes, trying to drag her on a leash for a "walk", buying cat toys in the hopes she would want to play and move. But, nothing worked. She gained and gained and gained and even the vet wanted to stop weighing her when she reached 25 pounds. No lab test gave us a reason, no x-ray reason, no answer. Sniff.

So, Mimi has evolved into a rather strangely shaped kitty. She has a tiny head and neck, graceful legs and adorable little paws and a slender tail. It is her mid-section that is out of proportion. Really. She has a routine, a route. No job, no responsibility, she just does the same thing every day......kinda like me. She eats, sleeps, potties, eats, sleeps, potties and for good measure she might take a bath every now and then.

She is a loner. She used to nap with Fuzz; not anymore. She used to sit on my lap; not so much anymore. Sniff. She smacks any cat or any person that crosses her path. I love her anyway. She is my Mimi Louise, my Mimila, Moo. Just look at how beautiful she is!!!

Here she is in her bathroom. I stretch 1/3 of a cup out over the day so she is pretty much in and out of the bathroom all day long....exercise I figure.

When she is hungry she whines and miaows loudly. Here she is just generally irritated.

See? Beautiful, spoiled, regal like her cat mom and a tad overweight.

She fills out a kitty bed nicely.
And a chair too.

Last year when we took her to the vet (right after Sophia died from some freak blood weird disease/cancer and I was sure all of the cats were going to die) she had a full workup. She weighed 18 pounds then. Blood work was perfect and we even did some other obscure tests to be sure she was OK. Mimi is just....well, full figured. I told her I would get her some Spanx, that she might look a little better, but I had to admit I have never found undergarments comfortable, so she declined the offer. She is quite content with how she looks so I am just gonna leave her alone. I will be monitoring her computer usage and will try to keep her from reading comments.