How are all the rapture believers feeling today; regret, shame, embarrassed or scrambling to explain why it didn't happen this time, but the next date will be correct? I guess we have to go through this again on
And then there are the people who ran up their credit cards because . . . well . . . there's no collection agency in heaven. I feel bad for the true believers and I have nothing but loathing for the people who made money off of this.
It's Mother's Day - that yearly Hallmark holiday meant to sell cards, flowers and candy. When my mother was alive, I always sent a card and/or flowers depending on our financial situation. It's been more than 10 years since she died and I can truthful say that every day is mother's day for me. I have at least one mom-memory every day. It's often small things. For example this morning, when I was getting out of the shower, I remembered how my mom taught us to dry ourselves off from head to toe while we were still in the bathtub, so we wouldn't track any water on the floor. We didn't have a bathroom rug or a bath mat. Of course, I gave this up many years ago and I use a bath mat now.
Every time I peel a potato, I remember my mom's expert use of a paring knife to take as little potato off with the skin. When I had to peel potatoes, half the flesh would end up in the pig's bucket. My mother would show me over and over again how to do it and I never got it. And carrots were even worst – one carrot became one carrot stick under my knife. When I finally discovered the peeler tool, I was so happy. And so was my mom, alas the pigs were less happy.
These memories come unbidden. She is a part of my everyday life, her words, her deeds, are linked so deep within me; I can not imagine what a day would feel like without them. I’ve never been a mother, never really wanted to be a mother, but on this commercial holiday, I take a moment to wish that part of me that is her, a very Happy Mother’s Day.
In other news, we bought a new van this week. Well, it's part new and part used. The 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT is used (10,000 miles on it), but the wheelchair conversion is new. So I'm sort of driving a hybrid? Very excited about it even if it did cost a crazy amount of money. I wrote the biggest check ever - bigger by a few thousand than our down payment on the house. We're going to remove the wheelchair lock-down device from the old van and install it in the new one - that saves about $2000. After all the paper work and title stuff goes in, then stonebender needs to go there so they can measure the placement of the lock-down.
Sitting next to all the xmas boxes in the front room is the passenger seat from the old van. Current decor is eclectic junkyard chic!
I've notice dbubley has been more out of breath the last 4 or 5 days. The rehab center works like this: you call a main number and leave a message with a nurse, who then relays it to the doctor in charge of her care. I did this on Tuesday. Wednesday dbubley was out of the facility from approx 12:30 to 4 pm for an appointment with her surgeon. Thursday morning a physician’s assistant, who works with the doctor, stops in to see Betty and asks her a few questions. The PA told dbubley it’s probably caused by her weight and lying down in bed for a few weeks.
Dbubley tells me this and I start to see red. She was in bed for 4 months after her kidney surgery and she was never out of breath like this. I left the paperwork with the number to call in the van. I was just getting ready to go get it when my cell phone rang, it was the PA. I didn’t even let her start in on dbubley's fat causing the problem, I told her this has not been an issue in the past and we need to figure out what has changed. They have her on warfarin to protect against blood clots while she is so immobile. I’ve been watching the blood work (I do love the fact that Kaiser gives you access to your test results on-line) and her PT INR (International Normalized Ratio – Prothrombin Time) number is more than twice the highest normal range. I asked the PA what the therapeutic number they were aiming for and could this med be the cause of her breathing issue. She assured me it wasn’t and in her 25 years had never seen this problem and her number was right where they wanted it to be. I then told her one of the side effects listed for this med (and quite high on the list) was breathing problems. And my Google search lead to several sites with reports from patients and doctors of this effect. She said she’d have to look into this. I also asked how dbubley's last chest x-ray looked and she admitted there seemed to be some fluid build-up. She ordered another x-ray and would give her a dose of lasix to reduce it.
She then tried to push some of the blame on dbubley when she said “Well, she didn’t tell me everything.” With the type of meds she is on, unless she is in a 5 or 6 level of pain, when you ask her how she’s doing she’ll say “okay”. The only reason dbubley even mentioned the shortness of breath is because I kept saying something to her every time we talked on the phone. Well tonight I got a call from the facility letting me know they were starting dbubley on an antibiotic because the chest x-ray showed she has a “touch of pneumonia”.
Don’t tell me this isn’t a case of medical fat bias! How bad would she have had to get before someone noticed and looked more closely at her.
Good news: I’m off work for the next 7 days. Bad news: four of them are furlough days. Good news: they couldn’t come at a better time because I have to completely pack up and clear Betty’s bedroom and front room of all furniture because we need to change the carpet. We need to do this because 1) it is in really bad shape 2) Betty will not be able to bare any weight on her leg for a long time, if ever. So we will be using a Hoyer lift to move her in and out of bed. Trying to move the lift on her mushy carpet is very difficult for me. I worry about injuring one or both of us, so we need to fix it. With our wonderful, wacky winter weather I decided to rent a Pod storage unit to move everything into and it will just stay in our driveway.
So once again, I’m looking for volunteers. I need packing help, I need boxes, I need motivation! Most of the packing is books, CD’s, knick-knacks and electronics. I will probably have to hire some heavy lifter people for the hospital bed and a few other things. If you know of anyone, I will certainly take recommendations.
Monday I’m going flooring shopping and ordering the Pod, but the rest of the week should be all about packing. We are getting rid of her big desk, so if anyone is interested in it – let me know. We may also be getting rid of one of her televisions – we’re thinking of buying a wall mounted TV so it will be easier for her to see from her hospital bed.
If you have time this week AND can not think of anything better to do (then you don’t have a very good imagination) . . . and would like to come help, give me a call/email.
Remember I posted a few weeks ago looking for someone to change some xmas lights on the house? Well, I couldn't find anyone until Lynn Murray told me about Task Rabbit. It's a website business serving the Bay Area and Boston only. You put in what the task is and how much you're willing to pay and they will assign a person to do it. I posted my request a few days ago and within minutes I had a text message and an email from the person assigned to do it. About 5 minutes after that he called me. We set a date for this afternoon and presto-chango he came, he climbed up on the roof, he changed all the bulbs and he left. You give your payment info when you post the job. Once it's completed, you log on and let them know, then they pay the person. So no money changes hands. I'm going to keep his name and number, he was a very nice young man.
Here's a promotional code for $10 off. If you need something done and don't have the time or in my case, the ability, take a look at the site. I was going to post about this anyway, but in fairness I do have to say, if you use the code below and book a task, I get $10 off my next request.
Thanks to four wonderful Elf’s including serene (who has a journal, but I can't seem to get a link), her niece and 2 friends, we got a really good start last Sunday at my 2010 Xmas DecoMania, but there’s still plenty to do. More boxes to move and unpack, more garland and lights to put up and esp. more ornaments to place. Plus this is the first year we have our beautiful back yard, so I’ve got a few plans for it too!
I made a mistake listing the days I will be decorating in the last post. I am not available on Sunday, Nov. 14, but I am available on Saturday, Nov. 13. Here’s the corrected list of days and the times I’m going to start on each day. Drop me a note or call, if you haven’t already, and let me know the day and approx. time you might be coming.
I promise will be my last "call for help" posts, I just wanted to correct the days in case anyone wanted to volunteer, but could only do it on Saturday. As I said before, if you don't have the health, time or inclination to help, it's really okay and I hope you can come to the open house - announcement coming soon.
Thursday, Nov. 11 10 am
Friday, Nov. 12, 10 am
Saturday, Nov. 13 11 am
Monday, Nov. 15 10 am
The angst is over (for now). I’ve decided to decorate for Xmas AND I’ve decided to ask for help. I’m going to try and get as much done as possible in the next week. If you are local and want to lend a hand, take a look at the end of this for XMAS 2010 DecoMania details.
If you’ve not seen our house at xmas (btw we live in San Leandro), then I’d better give you a little idea of what’s involved. First, there’s the prepping; as much shelve space as possible will be cleared of tchotchkes and photos. Some stuff will be placed on the lower level of bookcases. Then all the bookcases will be covered with cotton (for that snowy look). Lights and garland will outline the bookcases. Garland will outline all doorways.
Now the real fun starts, moving the boxes from the storage unit in the backyard to the front room. I think I have at least 25 large, plastic tote boxes of decorations. I have a hand truck, but there will be lifting involved. Next we unpack and start organizing the decorations. There are some boxes I have not opened for the last 2 seasons and I hope we can get to them. I don’t have room for everything, so some items will be repacked and other items will join a box of “give aways”, if you’re here when it goes in and you want it, it’s yours. The laws of storage space tells me I can not continue to buy new stuff every year and not run out of room, so some things just gotta go. But I digress.
Once everything is out and mostly in place, then the boxes will need to be moved back to the storage space. There are outside decorations, but I’ll just have to see how that goes.
It sounds so simple when I type it out, but believe me this has taken me 6 weeks and all my spare time & energy. If we can pull it all together, I will plan the Xmas Open House this year. I haven’t had one since 2007. The last two years have been a series of health hits on me and mine, but this is NOT a pity party. This is a celebration of all things bright, shiny and xmas cutesy.
So that’s the basics. Here are the times I plan to devote to XMAS 2010 DecoMania. I have a long weekend because of Veteran’s Day and a furlough day, plus I took a vacation day. The beginning time is pretty firm (as in I’ll be up and dressed!) The ending time will vary; when I get too exhausted and/or there are no volunteers. If you are planning on coming, please let me know your desired time and date (email or phone 510-639-0840). Let me know if you need the address too. Come for as little or as much as you can stand. It will be work, but it will also be FUN!
Sunday, Nov. 7 12 pm
Thursday, Nov. 11 10 am
Friday, Nov. 12, 10 am
Sunday, Nov. 14 11 am
Monday, Nov. 15 10 am
And to all my local friends who do not have the time, health or inclination to attend XMAS 2010 DecoMania, I completely understand.