A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the...

...oh, what the hell.

At Christmas time I bought some Light-Up Bubble Guns at Disneyland, intending to give them as gifts. As it turned out, I only gave away one, so earlier this month I took one of the other guns back to Disneyland to play with.

It didn't work.

I was never able to get it to work, but the one I had given away (to my nephew) was still at my mom's house (well, actually it was lying in the planter). I knew his had worked because I had watched him in the dark on Christmas night, so I brought his in, cleaned it up and tried it out.

It didn't work.

It occurred to me that just maybe the problem was the six-month-old batteries. So, I went to the store and bought some new batteries. Popped them into the gun and...

It didn't work.

Today as I was clearing some stuff out of the spare room I found the last of the guns.


I played with it in the front for a while. The bubbles were lovely with the sun reflecting off them. So lovely that I decided to try to take some pictures of them with my new camera (two months old).

The camera is missing. I'm pretty sure I left it on the table at the Buca di Beppo that we ate at last night. My son drove over to the restaurant today to check to see if it had been found, but no luck.

Other than that, things are going OK. A friend recommended The Artist's Way, a creativity program created by Julia Cameron. I'm just a few days into it but am enjoying the process very much. I'm hopeful that with this help I will be able to start school in September with a more positive attitude about what I do. I've added a link in the side bar if you'd like to check it out.

Still no stitching to speak of. While I was staying with Mom I bought several cross-stitch magazines and felt a little stir of interest in some of the charts (don't you love British cross-stitch magazines?) Maybe by next week I'll be ready to go through my collection and decide what I'd like to work on now. Dog is still too crazy for Firefly Faeries to be out and vulnerable, but I have a significant number of charts and supplies in the museum. Surely I can find something to play with.

Garden is surviving. We're having an especially cool (as in temps) summer this year which really helps. Favorites are the "Jack Frost" brunnera and the Creamsicle brugmansia.

Delicious, both.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Getting On With It

My Mom is Amazing.

For that matter, so is my brother. He has spent countless hours going through my Dad's financial records and now is leading our mom through the process of getting everything settled so she can handle things herself. Something to think about. Dad SEEMED to be in good mental condition until the last three weeks or so, but as my brother has tried to organize Dad's records it appears Dad wasn't quite "with it" even when we thought he was. Thank goodness my brother set Dad down early on to get what information he could early on.

If only we had thought to get his Wi-Fi security pin.

Tomorrow will mark my third week here and I'm thinking it's time to head back to Camarillo. Mom seems to have her feet under her. I want to return for one overnight each week through the summer (two days, one night) so that I can help her with - well - whatever she needs. I'm sure once she's truly functioning on her own she will discover certain maintenance chores that she needs help with and that we can restructure in some way to help her out. Like today I want to get her some oscillating sprinklers so that she doesn't have to move the sprinklers in the back yard ten times to get the back grass watered.

I have a full summer to trek through. Some of it is exciting to look forward to. I plan to get myself to a Tom Kubis performance in Seal Beach next month. To the Gene Autry Museum in Los Angeles. Up the coast to Cambria. Lots of schoolwork as I try to re-design my attitude by re-designing my presentation, starting with a re-writing of our 8th grade history standards so that they - I don't know - make sense maybe?

I also talked my mom into upgrading her Disneyland passport so that we could go several times this summer.

We're both looking forward to that.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sad News

My dad died at 5:45 this morning.

He was kept comfortably sleeping at Kaiser Permanente's Woodland Hills facility until day before yesterday when he was moved to a nursing home nearby. There they made multiple room changes in an attempt to find the right room arrangement. Again, he was kept comfortably sleeping through the resettlement.

He remained so strong until the end that most of the medical personnel seemed to believe that he would live for some time yet.

My mom , siblings and I are at peace with his passing. The body that lingered for the last few weeks did not house the father that we knew (his mind was too damaged by the brain tumor and bleeding for him to "be" our dad).

My sympathies are with my children and my nephew. He was a great grandpa, and we discouraged the grandchildren from spending time with him at the end so that their last memories of him would not be so awful. They are having a rough time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quick Update

about my dad.

Night before last he became very agitated and uncontrollable. I called the non-emergency fire department number and asked for assistance to get him back into bed. Once they evaluated the situation they called an ambulance. It took five fit men to finally restrain him on a guerney to take him to the emergency room because he was impossible for them to control.

A CT scan showed a previously unknown brain tumor as well as hemorrhaging in the brain. He is now in the Kaiser Hospital.

My mom had a good night's sleep (first in months) and spent yesterday and this morning resting. She seems to be feeling better.

We will go to the hospital to "visit" Dad this afternoon. (My brother and sister have been there since yesterday.)

We don't think it will be much longer, but he's surprised us at every turn (he didn't read the rules).

Friday, June 11, 2010

"Long periods of boredom...

interrupted by moments of sheer terror."

Attributed to someone in the 1960s in reference to airline travel, but it seems appropos here. I'm finishing up my first week in the Simi Valley, helping my mom (sort of) with my dad. He sleeps most of the time (that's the boredom part) except for those moments where - weak as he is - he still insists on making his way to the bathroom on his own or (and here's the terror part) upstairs at night to sleep in his own bed. We did get him to agree to sleep downstairs (a little white lie on Mom's part helped with that). Just hope we can re-convince him over and over again as the need arrises.

I entertain myself on my mom's laptop with facebook and here. I've done a little stitchery work on the Crabapple Hill Winter Wonderland big block. One tree, some snowflakes, all the words and most of the staff is done on the big block.

Finally broke down and set up my netbook to play movies (I have a separate hard drive for it just for that purpose.) Last night was Shutter Island. A friend recommended it as "not at all boring." I told him I'm going to have to be careful of what he recommends as "not boring" as another friend said her 27-year-old son had seen it, declared it the scariest movie he'd ever seen and then slept with his lights on for a few nights. It wasn't that bad. Of course, I was watching it on a tiny little screen with the volume on low. I think the sound people should get an Academy Award for their work; the start-up menu on the dvd was scary on its own. Anyway, it's an exceptionally good movie. I hope DeCaprio gets recognized for his work, too. It was, however, packed with my phobias, so I will be looking for something to watch today that is a little lighter in subject matter.

Like G-Force, perhaps.

My fitness program is going well. I returned to previous Weight Watchers training after December 5, 2009. In February, 2010, started what turned out to be two months of physical therapy to rehab a hip injury, then moved into the attached gym. I work out at the gym four to five days a week for a little over an hour each visit. Then, two weeks ago I officially rejoined WW to help me get through the summer. Since December 5 I've lost about 32 pounds and feel fantastic. I was happy with losing about one pound a week, but in the two weeks that I've been "officially" on WW I lost 7.5 pounds. I really hope that slows down (hoping to average two pounds a week over the summer) because at one pound a week the extra skin is shrinking nicely. I don't want to push that too far. I figure the entire process to a normal weight will take me until next summer.

If I can just stay away from the M&Ms.