Sunday, April 29, 2012

charity begins with pork

To say that I don't get out much is an understatement, as most people know. Yesterday was an occasion that I could not miss with all the old timers and many many others who love the bar in the kudzu gathering to honor and raise money for our friend Rodney and his family. I used to work these kinds of benefits all the time back when my ex was a cooker and still remembered the smell of smoked butts and bologna hanging in the air to entice customers. The cooking is an all night affair on huge rotating grills with boston butts and slabs of bologna smoking for hours on end. Almost 10,000 bucks was raised to help he and his family with medical expenses from cancer treatment. He was one of the daily regulars who got a kick out of the few of us girls who would dare to enter the man's kingdom right after work to knock back some beers. There was always lots of playful innuendo with all of them, but Yaya and I have a special joke about him. "Rodney will." And by golly, yesterday he did! Big hugs and lots of love to all ya'll!! Mom is headed home on Wednesday and ready to rock and roll. She's been confined for about six weeks to bed and chair except for physical therapy so she's ready to get back to her own bed and stuff. And Daddy, of course. I was at the movie rental place today trying to figure out the damn thing when I ran into two old classmates and we chatted about the state of our kids and parents and our collective sanity. Yesterday the "organic girl" as she dubbed herself, came for a visit and we brainstormed some more about getting together a local advisory council to explore ways to help fix this food desert that is D'burg. We have very few grocery stores, none locally owned, and the availability of fresh food is quite limited, especially to those who have transportation problems and limited funds. I still mourn the day in May of last year that my daily one stop pop'n'son grocery got flooded out for the final time. There is nothing within ten miles of the lane now, and that's sad. Demolition of the old grocery and other buildings will begin soon, with a projection of a raised widened business route, curbed and guttered, within ten years. FEMA has refused to pour any more money into the area after two consecutive years of flooding so the next step is to get some work done on the river proper to correct the longtime problem. We shall see.

I didn't have the money to pay the giant mega satellite company that is not DirecTV so we're out of the loop for the moment. I can't say that I really miss it as long as I've got the interwebs which is a mighty good feeling. That's one huge corporate thing off the list of priorities, and when the contract is up it's over. I'd rather make a conscious decision to watch something rather than turning it on to find 200 channels I could care less about. Our entire town has been without cable for several days and they're all up in arms about it! Good thing Daddy has his bill paid up with my nemesis. Never ending recordings of Bonanza and SVU keep him occupied and happy which is of course what we all strive for ;)

It looks like maybe I have cured myself babied my bad knee enough that it's coming back around to walking without a brace and daily naproxen. There is still a devil of a knot in my right shoulder and people at work like to touch it just to see it jump. I know...we are so easily amused. We're due for a huge inspection in the next two weeks so everybody's kind of on edge waiting for the onslaught. Surveys can be a learning experience if you don't get somebody who's out to be a mean ass just because they can. Abuse of power, so to speak. I've seen it a million times. So much of it is subjective according to how standards are met and simple things like wording. With the state of healthcare today and reimbursement increasingly being tied to patient satisfaction, the tide may be turning in favor of the consumer for once. Let's think positive.

The SIX dogs that live here have gone through 20 pounds of food in four days which is beginning to be a little much. Actually, way too much! My first priority after getting mama settled in is to pimp those puppies however and whenever to somebody who promises to care for them. Not just any old body, mind you. Must love dogs.

Over and out from the lane. Ya'll always remember who you are.


Friday, April 27, 2012

"tomorrow is a new day"

Not too long ago one of my friends got mad at somebody who's always on the drama train because she got screwed AGAIN by said people who know how to work the system for their personal advantage. It doesn't matter particularly whose system it is, they just will find the loophole every single time and slip right through it, letting the chips fall where they may for everybody else. I could tell by the gleam in her eye when she said it, that somebody was in trouble and was pretty damn glad it wasn't me. Peace and love and all that, ya'll. I have a really bad temper on very few occasions and I pick battles wisely, usually centered around trampling of human rights. Social activism is the only way to ever change something that has taken centuries to create.

Unfortunately, social activists tend to be of the lower percentile of income and job ops due to this big huge system called Congress that always pits defense against healthcare along party lines. Both parties are benefiting from lobbyists and big supporters who believe in what they're doing. Poor old John Edwards is on trial now for spending a hundred year old woman's money on his girlfriend while his wife was dying. Immoral? I'm not the judge of that. Illegal? Nope. That judge will have to live with the decision as either a momentous point of light in his career or a chance to capitalize on the dirty laundry that is being drug up during an election year, bless his heart. As for the guy who wrote the book? I'd check out his creds before you go using him as a star witness. If dude agreed to act as baby daddy, you can bet he was compensated and didn't bat an eye when the money came in.

We are T-5 days and counting until Mama's homecoming and everybody is about ready for it to be a little less complicated, if you know what I mean. She's been gone for six weeks while my poor little daddy heats up pot pies and corn dogs for supper. His angel, Ms Faye, cooks him a great lunch every day, southern style. He talks about how lonely the house is without her, and I understand. Anywho, we're gonna fix her up a suite with all the DME medicare will buy and proceed to spoil her rotten. She's earned it, durn it! Good thing we've got some medical professionals on old lab tech and one under-employed social worker. The way that all works out can only mean one thing and that's all about the faith.
Big pharm, insurance and defense need to chill on us already. Just ask Ron Paul.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

ring them bells

This has been a week filled with lots of after work meetings to arrange care plans and whatnot so I was not in the mood following today's trip from nursing home to doc's office back to nursing home to go any damn where else but to the house. Which is where my happy ass sits right now with the AC on. Typical for Tennessee spring, we're hitting 80's already and some people are opening their pools before May. Planting is in phase II here on our farm, with corn already poking up out of the dirt after two weeks and some nice rain. Yet it is still dry, by spring standards and the southwesterly winds are pretty heavy meaning the water hose gets a daily workout. STILL no takers on these pups. We're totally in love with the little girl and she could only go to somewhere she could visit us because really? She's just like a mini-Faith. Only black. She's snoozing on the couch with her mama right now. It's so neat to see the communication between generations, much as with humans. She's been so worn out with 'em that she would just lay down and crash for a day at a time. It was a very difficult pregnancy and delivery for quite an old virgin.

My attitude has been adjusted by the powers that be so that I'm not too worried about anything because that worst than can happen scenario usually conjures up a F**K it attitude and allows me to concentrate on something besides drama. Working with almost all women is a real trip because the odds of everybody being either on the rag or in menopause or pregnant is enormous at any time. Estrogen makes for a difficult situation when trying to think rationally about the enormity of the job we are doing. We are paid decently, but work hard for every penny of it. I can honestly say that when I slap on a knee brace to walk those concrete floors every day, I'm there because I love what I do and the people that I work with. All the rest is just details. My daughter's generation has a huge student loan debt and this economy. Bless ALL our hearts.

You just never know when somebody's gonna need blood, and that's the bottom line for someone who is charged with that responsibility. I've seen years when there were all kinds of crazy surgeons trying to save lives in the itty bitty town of D'burg. Looking back, that was the not-for-profit network in play following our sale from the county. Our facility and six others were bought as a group, and sold as one some twenty years later. My retirement income from said philanthropy of my God given talent commenced this year and I'm loving every little penny of it because as far as investments, I've got nothing. Well, I do have SS and MC if they hold out. Think about that during this "pivotal" election year. If Ron Paul can't be prez, to hell with the GOP and the horse they rode in on.

Amazon finally delivered Jack Bull from some distant place (hey, it is an old one) and BG sat mesmerized beside me watching that poor boy lose both his parents in the course of an hour or two. Justice don't always happen in this life, but it comes back around as karma. And really, that's what living fully is all about. Make something a little bit better and you might change the world. Never hurts to try and dream.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

puppy tales

One of my dearest friends of the we've never met in person variety is struggling with the loss of his dear canine friend Bear and I have to tell you I totally feel his pain. We have wept and sobbed and hugged many a dying pet, sharing the grief of losing a wonderful faithful friend. People who really include their pets as family members and share meals and beds with them know what I'm talking about especially. The last was Butterbean, our precious little rat terrier mix of the beautiful brindle coat. She broke her leg as a pup and always ran with a limp that eventually broke her back. She was fine but couldn't get up, or even sit. We propped her up with pillows and spent quality time before heading to the vet's office and the happy shot. No sooner did we pull out on the lane than Sammy D ran right smack under the car (picture me holding Butters all wrapped up like a burrito in my lap) and rolled off into the corn field. And that is how my fierce BG got to spend her first death experience on the floor holding her friend. I looked and looked for Sammy and gave up to head home only to find him waiting on the porch. He knew where we were going with his buddy.

Mom is chugging along, working hard toward a discharge date in about a week. The last six seem like a total blur and I suppose that's less stressful in the long run. All I can say is thank the lord for modern medicine when times are tough. Better living through chemistry! Both of my friends husbands are undergoing treatment for serious illnesses and it's turned into one big support group up at the sawmill. This is national medical laboratory week AKA give us laboratorians some respect. Never gonna happen, but we always get to eat free at least once or twice so it's all good. I spoke with a recruiter the other day about lab positions and could tell him quite from experience that it's a great career choice for college folks these days because the old school is retiring. Just saying. Requirements, including licensure, vary by state. AS or BS required.

My ethereal friend swooped in yesterday for a visit between road trips and had on some earrings that I bought on the beach 20 years ago and gave to her because they were "not me." What was I thinking? She wouldn't give 'em back either! She's headed out of state to job hunt and decide where to land for the rest of her life. She's a beach lover like me so I'm counting on that for vacay. Newly divorced and on the other side of elder care, she's ready to roll. Can't say that I don't envy her just a little bit. Our soul sister of the earth and me are going to the opening meeting for our local farmer's market this week for a meet and greet and some fish. I've already shared her seeds with several friends and got gifted with some homemade vanilla extract.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

old school

Out of the blue last night, my oldest guy friend in the world called to catch up on the state of us and the grands. Our parents were best friends for fifty years and both of his are gone so he claims mine. Last time he visited Daddy took him out on the gator for a farm ride, knowing with every turn which path leads to what landmark. When you walk a place for fifty plus years you tend to know when every fence post was put down. We talk two or three times a year, usually during a Friday night "happy hour" by phone. Tim was part of the percussion section (which my uncle Jim totally didn't like) who had that smartass attitude collectively. Come to think of it a lot of band members did! It's a comfort to know that there's somebody who knows, if not everything about me, the basic history of how I came to be who I am today. Whatever that means ;) BG is gone to do pre-wedding things with our friend who will become a Mrs. in June. WE go all the way back to when her family lived in South Dyersburg...before two floods in a row cleaned the place out. If there's another one this year, I'm headed to Figi on a slow boat. Sometimes you just have to listen to your gut. I've got seeds warming in the kitchen under a thin covering to hold moisture in. Not sure if they'll make it, but what the heck. I remember having a little seed kit as a Santa Claus gift one time and I was amazed at how things grow! I guess it stuck. I brought home some stuffed dolls for the puppies to tug on and they're having a ball with 'em. They now run in a loose pack, our three big ones with the pups right on their heels. They're being taught by their elders to watch out for (1) the spoiled rotten horse who wanders every damn where (2) the yellow school buses that run twice a day and (3) how to drag up dead stuff. That's country living for ya. I rarely cook anything really fattening or greasy but last night seemed like a perfect opportunity to fry some chicken tenders in the iron skillet, in the style of my mother the ultimate southern cook. Oh.My. Today is a stay in your jammies kind because it's cloudy and cold. That suits me just fine. There's nothing better than a day where you don't even have to get out of the house. If any breaking news comes up, ya'll let me know. I'm sort of out of the loop. Peace ^j^

Friday, April 20, 2012

peace in the valley, and up on the hill

For the first time in weeks, I feel relaxed and unafraid. And totally out of control, which is not a bad place to be when you can give it to Big Ernie and sleep like a baby. A weekend off, not spent at the sawmill, is exactly what is needed to mend this broken soul of mine. It's been a long week of worry about my friend's hub and he's still quite sick. My reward is a chance to let spotify do its' magic and fahgedaboutitall. It is what it is, and I'm certainly not in charge, thank goodness. I don't do leadership well, except as a passive sort of yaya cheerleader for the team. Picture me as HR with a heart and some spare seeds for your garden. One of my buddies makes her own vanilla and I've got some of that coming. You can't beat bartering as a way of life. Just when I think I'm going to lose it and climb the water tower, my thoughtful friend sends a reminder that I am loved and totally understood. Yesterday I peeked out on the porch where the puppies hang looking for some expected goodies from amazon and found instead..much to my delight..a package. From whoever knows me like a book! Inside was a large bronze peace sign for hanging, the symbol of everything that I believe in. This? I totally love. As a child of the sixties I will always remember the resistance of the elders to "our generation" and what we stood for. During a time when there was an incredibly stupid war going on, we said to hell with it and did a 4/20. Kinda like now. Still don't have my Jack Bull or Chuck, but they'll come around. Peace out ya'll ^j^

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


One of the things that strikes me the most about being older is that I can usually adopt a "been there done that" attitude when life throws big curveballs my way. You think you're a badass bill collector? Hah..I've been reduced to tears and beers had your kind for breakfast. And then had your partners for lunch. You can't get blood from a turnip. The worst that any creditor could do is haul me into court over some measly amount that would cost lots in legal fees to recover. Which has happened, by the way. As I've said before, I intend to pay the people who honestly trusted in me as a person when corporate America could have cared less. A chapter 7 BK done the easier way almost 20 years ago was pure plastic...and nothing but. I look at that period as the beginning of the end of "life as we knew it." I didn't realize until many years later how many people took a whipping in the trading crisis of the 80's. Trickle down and all that. I may be slow, but eventually I see the big picture.

My friend's husband was admitted yesterday with a very serious illness and transported to a larger facility today. She has such a fragile soul, I just figured that I was SUPPOSED to be the one that Big Ernie called on today. I was her wing man, fielding phone calls while she worried over his return from surgery. We got the troops rounded up and everybody is praying for a healthy recovery for Mark. I'm kind of used to that role now what with running interference for my mama up there for two weeks. She's at the rehab with a swollen knee while I wait for a return call from her doctor. I just love healthcare today! It makes me very sad to see the GOP tear apart Obama's health plan which was originally pitched by one of their very damn own! Nobody has ever done it, and it will be hard to implement because there's so much money on the table. Philosophies like hospice and palliative care are not practiced for many reasons, mostly tied to reimbursement. If the big bucks were taken out of the equation? I doubt there would be many of today's doctors left. Or pharmacy companies. Or insurance execs.

The dog food bill around here has doubled as in feed for three extra growing dogs. I draw the line with letting them inside though. Our three house babies are too spoiled to put up with that. They're having fun out there romping in the new grass's a great time to be a puppy in the spring. It's warming up again following our early blackberry winter. Yesterday afternoon I played in the dirt on my kitchen table, going through the gift seeds and burying them, knowing that at least some of them will survive. That's just farming.

My older and wiser friend has a beach trip planned but when I asked about it today she said she just didn't know about going. Too much sadness. I know exactly how she feels because it's really tough to be multiple hours from home when somebody needs you. And yet? Sometimes that is what we have to do to maintain sanity and be the best person possible. When the body screams out for rest and the soul as well, it's time to disconnect. See step one of the top twelve.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

dooce me not

Rarely do I delete a post, but I decided that the tirade composed on the day of my super duper meltdown didn't look very ladylike the morning after. And above all..we want to be ladies down here in the mid-south. Our mama's get upset when we don't, ya know? My own mama is finishing up week one of orthopedic rehab with two more to go at least. She's doing well, and regaining the strength that two weeks in the hospital with a massive infection took from her frail little body. Daddy visits almost daily for a chat about the weather and whatnot and they even get to see MORE people by being there than stuck at home together in the country. It's crowded, and usually hectic...but it's a good experiment in transitioning to the next chapter, whatever that may be.

This horrific tornado season is already in full swing so I'm cleaning off the stairs to the basement this afternoon for a quick descent into snakeland. I've even got a flashlight by my bed now after being caught in the middle of the night numerous times to total darkness and storms. When the national weather folks started talking about yesterday's spree BEFORE it happened, everybody took notice. One of the ironic stories I read was about a town that got hit once and when the second one came, the sirens didn't work because they were damaged in the first round! Sounds like my luck (see: little black cloud).

I feel my faith coming back slowly but surely, able once again to see that the worst thing that can happen is the world ends today so why be sad and pissy when it happens? I visited yesterday with a delightful friend who gave me a bunch of heirloom seeds for my straw garden and to share. We're pitching the concept to the locals next week so cross your fingers. My to-do list tomorrow includes getting little pots and dirt plus weedeater supplies to get this show on the road. Corporate will be here before you know it.

Still no takers on the puppies which I suppose means it's not time. We got Faith when she was about 9 weeks old and there were four in her litter, gone within a day. Feeding six vs three is a big money item. I remember the first (and only) time I took Faith back out to see her "Big Momma" at Rhonda's. That big old mamajama jumped on Faith like she was a piece of meat and I had to pull them apart. Needless to say, we didn't go back. Faith has been a great mommy and still lets 'em hang off the tit just to get a thrill sometimes. Mostly she just sleeps and rests, getting her own strength back following that tough delivery and post-partum thing.

Not much to say these days, which is kind of unusual for me. In some ways, I think that the more I talk about what pisses me off as far as injustice, the more I hurt myself by feeling that it's wrong for people to judge and profit at the expense of others. But, I guess that's another one of those things my daddy told me...always thus and so, Janie. The biggest change that I have noticed during the entire episode with Mom is the change in his personality. Normally cold,hard and bossy, he has softened up quite a bit since he's not "in charge of the world" so to speak. He even told me he loved me which has happened exactly three times in my life.

Anyone who has experienced betrayal knows the pain of realizing when someone you trust has broken that. Our responses to that are experiences to learn about boundaries and self-care issues that are being ignored or loosely held. In my case, it's been going on for about five years with existence centering on work and family with no time for myself. That spunky happy smartass gal that I found a few years after my divorce got sucked into the vortex of the future of drama,angst and floods. Lotso' floods! I have honestly forgotten how to relax, fearing that if I truly let go and say to hell with it, the other shoe will drop and it's just too hard to get back up. I know, I need a phone session. On the agenda, ya'll.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

guilt and shame

I've never really been one to beat myself up over stuff because I usually try really hard not to let my ego in the way and do the "right" thing, according to my beliefs. The Big 10 are a given and other than that, it's pretty much details of how new life is promised to those who quit their sinful ways. The problem comes into play when people start deciding what exactly a sin is and begin labeling others. Ain't nobody on this earth got all THOSE answers. Just saying. If I hurt someone with my behavior I try to examine my part in the relationship and how much energy I give to the negativity that can result. I can never remember intentionally causing hurt to anybody because at the time? I wasn't thinking of anybody but myself. That's how the old devil works, you see.

We are a family in transition right now, one that began about five years ago when daddy handed over the reins of the farm to my brother. With a lifetime of knowledge concerning crop cultivation on these 1000 or so acres with wooded river and sloping hills, he set out to improve on the basic farming skills that my father taught him. It didn't take the landlord long to realize that it would be stupid not to use that knowledge! And so, we bought more time here in paradise. My parents have a lifetime entitlement to the house in which we were raised. After that? We don't know. As a tenant I could stay here, but without them at home I think it would be painful for awhile. There are no job opportunities in our 'burg, with everything being shipped to China or Wall street, including basic rights.

If the world ends in five minutes, I have been more blessed than many many people in this universe and I thank Big E for that. It's terribly easy to get on the pity pot and holler wahwahwah instead of putting on the BG panties and scooping that first shovel of dirt out of the hole you're in. One, at a time. We have to believe that somewhere, somehow it will all be okay. Right?????? I feel very vulnerable right now, not just for one reason but for many. As a baby boomer who can no longer physically do a job that is LOW middle income with a handful of benefits, I'm pretty much screwed as Congress whittles away at some normal sort of overhaul to an obviously flawed and top heavy system of healthcare delivery. The political overtones that include lobbies for big pharm and insurance are rampant and being played out at a level that we can not grasp. Hell I WORK there and have to get $4 scripts at the grocery store. Nobody ever said life is fair.

Mama's perking up...a new do again and twice daily physical therapy. Food is good. People are nice. You can't ask for much more than that in a transition from hospital to home. We have a couple of weeks to develop a care plan for that setting and I'm glad there are nurses that do it instead of me. I just put in my two cents worth and make their jobs a lot easier! After five years, I know the drill. Daddy started his recitation as we pulled out of the nursing home with the Easter lily his sister had brought mama. During the ride home, he told me he was gonna; get his shovel out, put that thing in the ground, turn the light on the flag, open the door and go in the house and watch tv until time to eat a corndog and watch more tv. Five.times. They always talk right before bed, and she usually has to remind him to kiss her when we leave. Cute as hell, ya'll.

It's about to be crisis time if the pups don't find owners. With six dogs eating full strength, even the cheap stuff doesn't go far. They roam all over now and are beginning to be a force to be looked for when pulling out in the car. Puppies in the spring are just about as sweet as you can get, but big sweaty dogs in July won't be fun. I have (temporarily) postponed my straw bale gardening until things are a bit more settled around Casa Poops, as if they ever will be! Hey...that attitude has served me well as an idea person who has sat back and dished 'em out to the neat freaks who then put them together and impress the hell out of corporate. It's all good.

Keep the faith ^j^

Sunday, April 8, 2012

easter greetings

Churches across America were packed today in observance of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. Many of those attendees show up twice, once in spring attire and the other in winter. Hint. Christmas pageant!! My family was not at all like that because my southern Baptist father and Methodist to the bone mother compromised and raised us to be there EVERY time they said go. When I was very young we had a pulpit exchange in which our pastor went to England and another one came here to share the culture of Methodism in another country. An extremely cool and bold measure for a quite conservative church in those days turned into fifty years of ministry to our ever changing faces.

I remember distinctly the time that being a believer with no questions asked came to my poor troubled soul. It was during a lavish Easter production that my daddy, the BG and I took part. Sanctuary theater, if you will. That was the "aha" moment when I realized that a simple carpenter's son gave his life so that I could be forgiven for not being perfect. To me, that's the beauty of it. BG and I got up early and headed out to cut flowers to place on the cross when we picked daddy up for breakfast. There were the usual ladies out there in their finery stepping gently on ladders to place them just so. Funniest thing I ever saw there was when some Baptists ran across the street to get their family pic made in front of it. Hah! That's what He would do.

Mom is at the skilled nursing home learning to walk again after a very intense infection in her knee that went systemic. She's improving every day and has the will to get up and out and go home if she wants to. If not, we'll deal with that too. The facility has team meetings with staff and family to discuss care plans and I admire that. While she's worrying about what's pajamas and what's not, we scurry back and forth with what she will need for the next three weeks. My youngest brother came from Virginia with his oh-so-cute and even tempered baby girl to meet everybody. I was in love the first time I saw that widdle face...seriously! She's a beautiful mix of my soulful brother and her tough mudder.

This is the first weekend in a while that I haven't spent at the hospital and that's kinda sweet, in its' own way. I mean, gah. I count the hours until I can get out of the ratrace and then I'm there by default! Our puppies are now free range, sleeping by the porch and running the yard by day. Time to find homes because I can't afford to feed six of 'em. Pride still roams, yesterday he was all the way over by the dairy barn. Sometimes? I'd love to be him.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

maundy musings

These past two weeks are a blur of "before" the hospital and where we are now. Her rehab includes daily exercise and antibiotics, and she's already gotten her hair did with money in the bank for more do's. We've worked out a shuttle with their friend Ms. Faye to drop off/ pick him up around our schedules. He only likes short visits anyway :) Interferes with his TV viewing, ya know. The staff are friendly and jovial and understand that sometimes life is tough when your body gives out. It's the way Big E planned it As Ms. Faye says "Each of our days are numbered, so why worry?"

Our experiences at the hospital were great with the exception of that grumpy chick with the attitude and head rag. Each day we spent there, I came home and wrote about what the tests and treatments were and at least got the first names of nursing and physician staff. Her care was managed (after a somewhat rude first meeting for the two of us) very well by mainly one practitioner with a few consults for cardiology, gastro and ortho. That's some big time Medicare money ya'll. As my mother's advocate I saw that the patient is our end user and if we don't all work together and occasionally buck the authority, nothing will ever change in the delivery model. ANYTHING preventive is worth the money. Take for instance all those mammos that were given to other agencies because the entire country has gone ape-shit crazy over abortion. It was the seventies. Get over it.

Daddy has done very well, looking forward to his visits and staying on schedule.
to him, that is pure joy. He misses her a lot and is being sweet as pie and not at all grouchy with her, which is a nice change. Like many elderly women she does go onandonandon but someday? That will be me, so I listen politely...often learning some bit of history that I never knew 'til now.

Thanks to all who have prayed and hugged and sent karmic beams my way.

Love ya...mean it ^j^

Monday, April 2, 2012

what now?

Of all things, mama decided that going home in the shape she's in would not only endanger she and daddy, but all the rest of us who are involved because seriously? I'm on the verge of a total meltdown. Being a healthcare proxy is a huge responsibility, and one that most people don't even consider choosing until it's too late. We could have done IVs and had sporadic PT down the road but the whole thing is like a house of cards getting ready to collapse. My brother and I repeatedly suggested that assisted living would probably be a nice thing for them but they daddy refused to budge from the farm. It's not even as if he can get outside the box and enjoy the history of this place because he's glued to the damned teevee. I kid you not...he called a cab to take him to the hospital to visit mom between the departure of Ms. Faye and the 4PM news. He gave me a heads up and I scurried on down there to pick him up. He met me halfway on the gator.

When we got ready to leave (which didn't last long) he kissed her and looked all worried because she's the one who has taken care of him for 58 years and he misses her. On the way back home, he recited to me every move he will make between now and tomorrow afternoon. Next time, he can take a cab! How romantic :) She's getting some blood now because 10 days in the hospital for a 78 year old with doctors chomping at the bit to meet quota means she's about a quart low.

The pups got wormed today, well two of 'em anyway. The other one is hiding under the steps so we'll have to figure out which one got the cheese. In our spare time of course.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

once an adult, twice a child

The book that BG and I enjoyed most when she was little was the one with "I love you forever, like you for always. As long as you're living my baby you'll be." That's pretty much where we're at right now with mom. I am still her baby even though she's lying in a hospital bed hooked up to IVs and whatnot and she still tells me with every other breath to go home and get some rest. She was even telling us that in the ER both times, like we're gonna dump her off and catch back up later. Puleez. Her short little stay at the nursing home and the subsequent readmission to the hospital for cardiac symptoms convinced me that we will have to figure out a way to do this at home, in her own house...the one that we were all raised in. Daddy said he misses her most at bedtime because he always tucks her in and gives her a kiss. She will probably be discharged tomorrow and home health will take over. BG and I will learn to administer antibiotics daily for a month via PIC line. We will be responsible for driving to a Newbern pharmacy to pick up said medicine because that's how it rolls these days. The social worker and PT will be back on board and there's where the plan becomes easier for all of us. If all goes well, it will be a textbook case of home care delivery. As a social worker herself, BG has been invaluable as a part of the family team. We can do this because it's what they need and to hell with the rest of it.

The past 9 days have been many things to me including a new understanding of how people must be totally screwed as patients when there's no family member actively involved. I learned again what VQ scans are and how a PIC line is inserted and used. It is indeed a blessing that I work there, but she is well known to the staff because of her years of volunteer work which began with my grandmother. We are all exhausted with the decisions and drama. I haven't operated in this little sleep since my days on call when I was a whole hell of a lot younger. Two nights in one week with two hours is not exactly what's best for me. Mom stayed awake 'til 2AM this morning and I suspect that sometimes she's just afraid to drift off because she won't wake up. And that? I totally understand. She has always been the one to serve others with her food, her thoughtfulness and love. It's absolutely killing her soul to be taken care of.

There is a beautiful snowball bush across the highway from our road and I stopped today to pluck one before they're history. Azaleas are full bloom and the puppies feed and water under one of the bushes. It is Palm Sunday, and I always think back during Holy week about one of mom's wrecks when she was taken to ER on Easter Sunday. The preacher stopped by to see her and pointed out that her situation was kind of like when the tomb was opened. "Surprise!!" The man she hit was dying of cancer yet his daughter promptly lawyered up and sued her for a million bucks. Needless to say, that didn't happen. The insurance company settled and she continued to drive until she got hammered on the busy highway crossover. The very same place where Daddy's last drive happened. My you know what draws up every time I cross the thing myself!

The herbs and flowers are planted and that will be it until things calm down a little. All of the fields have been sprayed and are ready for planting. The early heat has got the bugs and snakes going strong even for Tennessee following a very mild winter. Don't worry propane guy...we're gonna get you paid!

Peace out ya'll...and remember who you are.