Monday, April 30, 2012

Man Up

I’m going to attempt to do as my son-in-law suggested and “grow a pair”.  I have learned at the end of our first year of marriage that my husband and I are both just really nice people.  The problem with that is that other people (contractors) will take every advantage they can of our good nature.

It has taken more than 2 weeks to get even close to finishing our driveway project.  They finally came back and removed concrete and dirt from the yard last Friday leaving the yard a wreck.  The siding on the house was damaged and now has a dent and a hole in it.  We have a patch across the top of the drive that doesn’t match the rest of the concrete and is not very aesthetically pleasing.  Now we are being asked to pay an additional $400.00 for dirt removal.  Neither of us thinks that it is our responsibility because it was not included in the contract.  However, neither of us is assertive enough to stand up to the contractor.

So…..I’m going to try to get my mean face on and meet with the contractor this evening to get this project settled. 

Wish me luck!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Flat Feet

I have the world’s flattest feet.  Yep, no doubt about it these babies would have kept me out of the draft had I been a boy.  In 1955 my mother was convinced that if I wore “the right” shoe this condition could be corrected.  She would tell me horror stories about how I would be walking on my ankles someday if this problem wasn’t addressed immediately.  So began my shoe torment that would last the remainder of my life.

I was in the first grade when I received my first pair of corrective shoes.  They were the familiar black and white saddle oxfords. The only thing different about my shoes was the steel plated insole that held my flat foot in the correct arch.  These shoes were heavy and I felt like I was permanently planted to the ground.  Fortunately for me oxfords were a popular shoe in the 50’s and I didn’t look out of place.  Seems just about every kid I knew had a picture of Buster Brown in their shoes.
By the time I was in the 4th grade the other girls had graduated from their corrective shoes and were wearing the now popular penny loafers.  Oh how I wanted a pair of penny loafers.  My mom wouldn’t budge no matter how much I begged saying, “They have no support, you’ll just run over the sides”.  So while my friends were jumping rope in their smart little penny loafers I remained firmly planted to the ground turning the rope.

By the summer before Junior High I pitched enough of a fit that my mother finally said I didn’t have to get another pair of corrective shoes; gone were the saddle oxfords.   I was ready to purchase a cute pair of dainty little flats and I couldn’t wait.  In my wildest imagination I could never have imagined a pair of shoes worse than those clunky old saddle oxfords but to my dismay my mother found just the pair.  She had completed vetoed the cute pair of flats giving me the familiar reason, “they have no support”.

Looking back I wish I’d really raised a fit about the shoes but I figured anything would be better than those oxfords but I couldn’t have been more wrong. She (my mother) picked out a pair of grandma shoes in the sickest color of tan I’d ever seen.  According to my mother the perfect color since, (Oh sweet Jesus) they would go with everything. They were hideous and to make them just a little more horrific they had a rubber sole that had wedges cut into them.  I just kept telling myself that they weren’t oxfords so they had to be better.

The first day of Junior High came and of course like any red blooded self-conscious preteen I was terrified.  The last thing on earth I  wanted was to draw attention to myself.  I went through the front door with a herd of kids scrambling to find their classrooms.  I followed the crowd until I found my first hour class.  It wasn’t until I crossed the threshold of my classroom that I heard them, MY SHOES.  With each step I took across the tiled floor I heard this loud squishy squeaking noise.  It was those rubber wedged soles.  No matter how gingerly I tried to step it was the same squeach, squeach, squeach, every time my foot made contact with the tile.  Of course everyone looked up to see where this irritating noise was coming from and it wasn’t hard to tell just by the horrified look on my face that it was coming from me.  Right about now those saddle oxfords were looking pretty darn good.

I hurried across the floor to my assigned seat as quickly as I could.  Squeach, squeach, squeach went my shoes in rapid fire.   I looked down at my desk not wanting to make eye contact with anyone in the room.  While counting the knotholes in my desk I realized that somehow I had to remain in my seat for the entire hour and then run to my next class when everyone else left the room.  If I managed to be the first one into my next class no one would hear my shoes.  So as soon as soon as the bell rang I was up and moving with the crowd.  I made it to the next class and was seated before anyone else entered the room.

When I got home that day I immediately went to plead my case to my mother.  She wasn’t budging.  It was her contention that she had already compromised by allowing me to get these shoes and not the corrective shoes she preferred.  No matter how much I tried to tell her I was going to be socially ostracized because of my shoes she wouldn’t budge. 

So, everyday I timed by entrance to each class and tried to always walk with the crowd.  It wasn’t until a girl in my English class asked me if my shoes were squeaking did I finally find a solution to my problem.  I confessed that the noise was indeed emanating from my shoes and she simply responded, “Why don’t you wear your gym shoes.”

Gym shoes?  The ones I kept in my locker?  The ones that went with that horrible little blue jumpsuit we had to wear in gym?  Why hadn’t I thought of that?

So everyday for the remainder of the year I got to school early enough to go get my tennis shoes and switch them with the granny shoes.  My mother never did find out and I was thrilled when my feet grew another shoe size and I was finally able to donate those beauties to a nursing home.

Onward we trod

Ron called the contractor this morning and was assured that someone would be out to remove the dirt, fix the yard and power wash the house.  I just want them to finish and leave.  I think we are going to have to hire another company to fix the bad patchwork job on the driveway. 

I've had very little dealing with contractors over the years and what I have had was only acceptable 1 out of 3 times.  I loved the siding and roofing job done a couple of years ago but some of the work I had done in the house has not lasted.  It's just a gamble every time you have something done.

I can't wait to see what will be waiting for me when I get home this afternoon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


What we thought would be a simple driveway installation has turned into my worst nightmare.  The project started 10 days ago and is still not completed.
This is the dirt left in my yard.

The concrete was poured last Thursday just before it started to rain.
We now have pitting in the cement.
This is the residue left on the house.  
 We have been calling the contractor and every day he says that someone will be out.  
The dark spot is the concrete he didn't remove!  How tacky is that?

It will take us forever to put the yard back together.
 It makes me think people just don't care about the quality of their work.  I asked the contractor if this mess would be OK in HIS yard. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stoned in the Kitchen

Last week as I mentioned before we had a tornado touch down in our town.  I had been in touch with Mike all day that day and made sure we went over the steps he should take in case of a tornado.  We went over the check list several times.

Flashlights (in the cellar and house)
Batteries for radio and flashlights
Listen to the weather and be ready to take shelter if needed.

He was ready and on top of his game.  Or so I thought.

Sure enough the sirens blared and I took cover in my own house thinking my brother was safe and sound in his own underground bunker. After the tornado has passed we learned that it had hit less than a block from Mike's house.  There was a lot of damage but Mike was safe and sound.  I asked him if he had gone to his cellar and he said no.  I was so surprised.  

I asked him why he hadn't taken shelter and he said, "I was stoned in the kitchen."

I said, "Do you mean stunned."

"Yeah", he answered.

Then I asked him if any of his neighbors had come over to take shelter and he said yes.  Surprised, I said, "Did anyone check to see if you were here?"

Mike said yes but he was "stoned" in the kitchen.

Now, Ron is starting to giggle just listening to our back and forth question and answer session.  I on the other hand was just aghast.
I asked him why didn't he just go with the neighbor down into the cellar and he said the stairs are too steep.

So the new rules are that if he sees people walking through his backyard and entering the hole in the ground he is to follow them!!!!

All funniness aside I am wondering if he was just to anxious and maybe there were just too many people in the cellar and that may have freaked him out.   If I hadn't been at work at the time I would have just gone over and picked him up.  I can't be everywhere at all times.

Gad, his brain is as his describes it "Cosmic"!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to the Academy!

Thank you Olga from Confessions of a Grandma for the award.  I appreciate you even thinking me worthy.  I have never received an award before but I will try to follow the instructions as follows:

The idea of the Liebster Award is to give it to an up and coming blog with fewer than 200 followers.  – in order to create new connections, and bring attention to their wonderful blogs. 
When  you win the award there a few details that need to be attended to:
  1. Thank the Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog
  2. Link back to the blogger who presented you the award.
  3.  Copy and paste the Liebster Blog Award on your blog.
  4.   Present the award to 5 bloggers who have a following 200 or less, who you feel deserve it.
  5.   Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog
These are some of my favorite blogs to follow.  Check them out.

Online Therapy
A young woman in search of herself.
Caregivingly Yours
A wonderful blog about caring for a loved one with Multiple Sclerosis.  A resource of information for all caregivers.

The New Sixty
The best storyteller I've ever encountered.

For those who have a passion for beautiful flowers and want to see creativity at its finest.

A Slower Pace
A glimpse of retirement and a woman blessed with many talents.

When I started blogging it was only intended to be a way to keep record of what was going on in my life.  Over time, as changes occurred in my life,  it evolved into many different things.  It became a place to vent frustrations, share happiness, record memorable events in my life and best of all, a place to connect with others and make new friends.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Seventeen Years Ago Today

At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, a 5,000-pound bomb, hidden inside a Ryder truck, exploded just outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The explosion caused massive damage to the building and killed 168 people, 19 of whom were children. Those responsible for what became known as the Oklahoma City Bombing were home-grown terrorists, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. This deadly bombing was the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil until the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack.

In 20 minutes it will be the 17th anniversary of that horrible event.  Every year we stop and remember what we were doing at that exact moment.  I was here at work only we were still in our old hospital.  I walked through the patient waiting area in time to see news footage of the Alfred P. Murrah building after the explosion.  My first thought was of some foreign attack never for a second thinking that it was one of our own responsible for this horror.

It was only seconds before more co-workers joined in watching the the news as it came available.  Some people had loved ones working in or near the building and they were immediately trying to contact them by phone.   It wasn't until two days later that I learned of our neighbor's death.  He worked for Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and was in the office at the time of the blast.  His daughter was a classmate of my girls and she had already lost her young husband in Dessert Storm.

So, at 9:02 this morning all of Oklahoma will stop for a moment and remember.  We will honor the lives of those lost and we will once again feel the pride of how we came together during those days following the bombing.  We will feel pride in the way we set an example for the rest of the world to follow.  Our experience that day helped prepare for us for the unimaginable that followed on 9/11.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monkey Butt

Where have I been?  Am I the only one that has never heard of Anti Monkey Butt?  It wasn't until the other day when I saw a commercial for Baby Anti Monkey Butt that I'd ever heard of such a thing.
There is a whole line of this stuff, for babies, ladies and truckers.  It about "cracked" me up (no pun intended).  I'm going to buy this stuff for every pregnant person I meet from now on just because the name makes me crack up.  (there I go again)
Why, I may just pick up some LADY anti monkey butt....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sunshine on my shoulder

I'm so happy to see the sun again.  It's been awhile since we had two consecutive days of sunshine.

Mike's world is getting back on its axis.  The road he has been so obsessed about has finally reopened.  He is seeing his psychiatrist today and he got a new pair of sunglasses.  He's a happy man once again.

When I tried to talk to him about his suicidal thoughts yesterday I was trying to figure out what is going on in his head at the time.  I asked him to describe to me what his thought process was that led him to the conclusion he should kill himself.  All I got was a lot of rambling stuff that made no sense.  He said it had something to do with consecutive numbers and how he has a question and answer thing going on in his head.  Then he said it might also be a ploy for sympathy but that he didn't really know.  I guess asking a schizophrenic to describe his delusional thinking in a way that would make sense to me sounds pretty delusional in itself.  So who is crazy in this scenario?

I was reading an article that talked about how difficult it is for schizophrenics to maintain a scheduled routine.  Ohhhhh they haven't met Mike.  Routine is his middle name and you better the heck not mess it up.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday he gets up at 6:30 am.  Eats a sausage and biscuit sandwich and then goes to Subway to get a sandwich for lunch (he gets it before there are too many people there and saves it for later).  Then he goes to Homeland Grocery for his black-eyed peas and pears.  At 10:00 am Lloyd (his neighbor) takes him to his Silver Slippers Aerobics class where Mike entertains everyone and has a ball.  Then it is to Sam's for a hotdog and then back home.  He takes his noon pills and a nap and then calls me to tell me about his morning.  I remind him that he needs to shower and do whatever chores he has around the house.  At 3:00 pm he takes a walk around the block and then eats his dinner at 4:30.  He's in bed for the night by 7:15 on the dot.

Tuesday and Thursday are a bit more of a challenge because he doesn't go to his gym with Lloyd.  He usually walks a lot during the day if the weather is good.  His psych nurse comes on Tuesday mornings and his housekeeper comes on Thursday afternoon so that keeps him satisfied.  Saturdays are hard for him because we are trying to have one day for ourselves but then Sundays are devoted to Mike.  We pick him up for church, have lunch with him and then bring him to our house for the afternoon.  

So, that's his life in a nutshell.  It isn't so bad and it is so much better than it was a year ago.  He's made huge progress and hopefully it gets even better.

We are in the midst of a construction project at our house.  They tore the old driveway out yesterday and I have a huge pile of dirt in the middle of the yard.  They are framing in the new one today and pouring concrete late today or tomorrow.  What a mess that I'm sure in the end will be worth the hassle.

We are keeping one of the grand dogs and she barked so much yesterday that she's hoarse.  No bark......I hope it really didn't hurt her too much.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tornado Aftermath

We ventured out this weekend to see the damage from Friday's tornado and although we were lucky and it could have been so much worse it was still a little sobering as to the power of such storms.
 This is how the tornado looked from my vantage point as it came straight toward the hospital.  The inserted picture is of a building I believe was just a short distance from the hospital.
 There were many such trees uprooted across town.  The worst area for trees was at one of the oldest and most popular parks in town.  One hundred year old trees just plucked from the ground.  So sad, it will take years to establish trees like the ones lost.
 There were only a few buildings as severely damaged as this one but one was just a couple of blocks from our house.  We were sooooo lucky.

There was also more collateral damage from the storm.  Mike's world was greatly upset by the storm.  His normal route to Subway Sandwich shop has been blocked by electrical lines and fallen trees.  In addition, his sunglasses broke and again his route to the optical shop is blocked.  He really didn't get rattled by the tornado but the disruption of his routine put him in a daze all weekend.  He was really confused and out of it.  By last night he was talking suicide.  We talked for quite awhile and I told him his routine would get back on track and his reaction was an over reaction to the situation.  He was still saying he was thinking about suicide so I tried to tell him we would get him to Subway today and to the optical shop.  Now, this is what grabbed me.  His response was, "Well, I can't go until after the nurse comes at 9:00am and I go to aerobics at 10:00."  I said, well, how are you going to do all that if you kill yourself tonight?  Then he laughed.  Fortunately he sounds much better this morning.  We've arranged for someone to take him to the optical shop and to Subway.  He will see his psychiatrist tomorrow.  He sure keeps me on my toes!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Norman tornado

I did the dumbest thing ever yesterday.  I left work about 15 minutes before a tornado touched down in town.  I got home without a hitch and then got worried about my "new" car getting hail damage.  So like an idiot I drove over by our hospital just a short distance from our house and parked my car under a drivethru at an abandoned nursing home across the street from the hospital.  I had the radio on and was listening when they said a tornado was on the ground heading toward the hospital.  I was scared stupid and wondering why I had pulled such a stunt.  Then the radio said the rain was so hard they "thought" it the tornado might we weakening so I decided to make a run for it.  I pulled out and I could see the tornado completely wrapped in rain.  It was pouring so hard you could barely see the road.  I just kept going until I got to my house and ran inside and took shelter in the hall.  There was damage not far from our house but we were spared.

AGAIN  DUMBEST THING I'VE EVER DONE!  To heck with the car!

We are bracing ourselves for more to come........

Friday, April 13, 2012

Picture is worth a thousand words

My daughter just sent me a picture of her dad.  Since my girls found their 1/2 brother last week they have been in constant contact with him.  They asked for a picture of their dad and he obliged.  It has been more than 25 years since we last saw him.  When I first looked at the picture I had know idea who it was.  Time has erased the boy I once loved.  I couldn't find him anywhere in the face of this weathered looking man.  Nothing about him was familiar.  Though it may sound strange it was a relief in a way.  Ever since he came back in our lives by way of his son I have wrestled with old memories and old hurts.  It hasn't been pleasant.  I honestly think I can put them to rest now that I know the person I remember doesn't exist anymore. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


When my children were young, around age 4, I began noticing my daughter Jamie was completely obsessed with the year 1912.  She talked about how 1912 was her favorite year.  She was fascinated with anything from that time period.  The clothes women wore, furniture from that time period and she loved antique cars and started collecting matchbox cars that were replicas of early cars.  She could tell me the names of each car and sometimes some fact about the car that I had no idea whether was accurate or not. 

A few blocks from our house is a home built about that time and is now a museum.  Jamie would beg to go to the "hysterical" museum.  Every time we went she walked about talking about everything as if she were the museum curator.  She would explain how this item was used or that item.

Another time we were in an antique store and she spotted two pictures.  They were magazine covers that had been framed and were dated 1912.  She was about seven years old and she begged and begged for me to buy the pictures.  I did and gave them to her for her birthday.  

As she got older her fascination lessened but she always had an interest in that period.  She has purchased vintage clothing and even had some pieces made for herself.  And then the movie Titanic was made.  I think she saw the movie at least 10 times.  She watched every documentary about the Titanic on tv.  The first time they broadcast film taken by the submarine as it crept through the ship she just sat and cried.  She was really disturbed by the fact that they were bringing artifacts up from the wreckage saying they were just modern day grave robbers.

When she was in college we took a trip to Memphis to see the Titanic exhibition.  Jamie kept saying she wasn't going with us but finally relinquished.  Now, lots of people were teary eyed as they walked through the exhibit looking at the little shoes of children on board the ship but no one was as visibly shaken as my daughter.  Finally she had to leave and wait for us outside.

Now, I have never given any mystical meaning to my daughter's fascination with 1912.  I thought it was a little odd for a four-year old.  For some reason I never thought about the date of the sinking of Titanic until now.  I saw on tv this morning that it will be 100 years on April 14, 2012......oh my...she sank in 1912.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Hope everyone had a happy Easter!  We certainly did.  My daughters found their 1/2 brother after more than 10 years of searching for him and their 1/2 sister.  They were so excited.  They got the chance to speak to him by phone for a couple of hours and they can't wait to meet in person.  There is quite an age difference (13 years) the girls being the oldest but they are just so excited to find him.  They had some questions about their dad and now know where he is as well.  I'm not expecting that they will want to contact him but you never know.

I was honestly thrilled for my daughters but at the same time it really brought back some painful memories.  I honestly could have gone to my grave not knowing anything about their dad and I would have been OK with it.  He hasn't been apart of our lives for 35 years and we haven't known where he is for almost 25 years.

The sister is not interested in meeting the girls but they are OK with that.  Their brother was VERY excited to get to know them and it just thrilled them to death.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Aunt Sestus

Every childhood should be blessed with at least one colorful relative. I was lucky enough to have several from both sides of the family tree. But for now I will focus only on my mother’s side of the family and her favorite and only auntie (by blood) in particular. Sestus Oriole Tucker was my grandmother’s only sister. I’m not sure how close they were in age but as sisters they loved one another dearly but argued like there was no tomorrow. My grandmother’s patience was often tested but never broken in part because of her little sister’s tragic near death experience.

In 1920 Aunt Sestus became a mother at the age of twenty-one. One day she was dressing her small son in front of an open flame heater. As she bent forward to adjust his clothing the hem of her gown flew into the open fire and her clothes immediately went up in a blaze. She was wearing a floor length housedress as was stylish for the time. Fortunately her hair was covered by a dust bonnet and was spared from the ravaging flames.

Aunt Sestus ran screaming from the house fully engulfed by the fire. As she ran across the street toward her mother’s house she pulled at her flaming clothes with her fingers. By the time she reached her mother’s porch her clothes had been completely burned from her body. A well-meaning neighbor covered her with a gunnysack to hide her nakedness, which later was determined to be a source of infection. Unable to be moved to a hospital she was carried into her mother’s house where she was cared for by relatives and friends for several months. She sustained 3rd degree burns over 70 percent of her body and her fingers were completed burned away leaving only the thumbs on each of her hands. Her face and hair were spared from the affects of the flames. Mercifully she remained in a coma for many weeks. With nothing other than Unguentine to treat her burns family members poured it over her body and one-by-one they would pass out from the smell of her burnt flesh. The town doctor gave her what pain medication was available but told her family they should not expect her to survive. But live she did, defying all the odds.

At one point in her recovery a surgery was performed to snip the ligaments that remained in her fingers. As the burns healed the skin became tight, pulling what was left of her fingers down into the palms of her hands cutting into the flesh. I believe this was the only surgery she had since skin grafts and plastic surgery weren’t available at that time.

So her family was right, she truly was a living miracle and any allowances they may have extended her were understandable. So Aunt Sestos developed her tell it like it is style of communication. She didn’t hold anything back. By some accounts she was considered spoiled but rightfully so.

My mother was crazy about her auntie and had been named for her aunt receiving her middle name Oriole. As I grew up I was just as enamored with my feisty great aunt. She was always dressed to perfection. In the 50’s it was stylish to wear gloves and I never saw her without a bright white pair either on her hands or carried in one hand. She was so adept at hiding her disfigured hands that no one ever noticed unless they were told. Her scars were isolated to her torso and stopped short just above her knees. She was always impeccably dressed wearing stockings and heals at all times. The only visible outer sign of her horrible ordeal were her hands, which she so deftly kept from view.

By the time I was born Aunt Sestus had lived with her scars for over forty years and had been able to learn to do most everything in spite of her missing fingers. She had the most beautiful penmanship and as a girl I was intrigued as I watched her hold a pen between her thumb and the stub of her index finger. Her handwriting easily challenged the best calligrapher with its intricate curly Q’s and fancy swirls. The only thing I remember that she wasn’t able to do was hold a paintbrush or roller and paint her walls. Whenever the mood would strike her she would call the family to come and paint her house, which we happily obliged.

Aunt Sestus lost her husband to a heart attack long before my birth. Since she had no formal education she made her living as a housemother in a fraternity at the University of Kansas. She preferred spending her time with boys (as she had a son of her own) and was an avid KU basketball fan. Her summers were free and she would take advantage of her time off by visiting her favorite niece.

Aunt Sestus loved to shop and she and my mother would go on shopping trips to John A Brown’s Department store in Oklahoma City. I loved to tag along but even I couldn’t keep up with my Aunt Sestus. She had more energy than three eight year-olds. Even my mom couldn’t keep up with her.

The one trait that set my great aunt apart from the rest of the family was her fear of the so-called “boogers”. She always thought there were “boogers” waiting to assault and rob her of her worldly possessions. She was constantly looking over her shoulder and after dark would lock the house up like a fortress. Every noise she heard would make her yell out loud causing us all to jump out of our skins. We’d all jump and then burst into giggles followed by my Aunt’s favorite expletive, “Well, Ding Dong”. She could make “Ding Dong” sound like the cursing of a crusty old sailor on leave.

One time when my brother and I were in grade school Aunt Sestus came to visit. Aunt Sestus was sleeping on the hide-away bed in the living room when she heard a noise in the middle of the night. Apparently our mother heard the same noise. Mother came through the dining room with a bat in her hand while Aunt Sestus came from the opposite end of the house with a bat of her own. Both women met somewhere in the middle and miraculously in the midst of all the screaming neither were struck by the other’s weapon.

We all enjoyed teasing our auntie just so we could hear her holler and see her jump. She had a good sense of humor and took it all in stride. In spite of the fact that doctor’s had predicted she would have a short life due to what they called damage inflicted by the fire. She lived to be just shy of 100 years old. passing away peacefully one week before my father's death in 1992.  She had outlived both her husband and son and all her siblings. I think it was due to her feisty personality and her never give up attitude.

I come from a long line of strong, independent women.  This was a story of just one of them.  I give thanks to all of them and hope to do as well.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ron and Mike

Life has certainly changed lately.  Mike is doing so much better and has regained so much of his independence.  I'm thrilled by his success and it's getting easier to relax about him.  At first I had this feeling of waiting for the other shoe to fall.  For 18 months his condition would change frequently.  Or as he would describe himself, "I'm turning on a dime."  One day he would seem somewhat "normal" and the next totally delusional.  I couldn't keep up with my own thoughts let alone his.  But in the last two months he has stabilized considerably.  He doesn't call me 40 times a day and when he does he is very lucid and more like his old self.  He actually shows interest in things outside himself.

I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm actually having to adjust to all this change.  For the past 18 months I've been almost complete consumed by Mike's mental illness.  I had absolutely no time to think about myself or anything else.  Our lives revolved around Mike. 

Now that that I have time I realize this has taken a toll on me physically and mentally.  The physical toll is definitely the greatest.  I didn't have time to even realize how much pain I've been in for awhile. This past year my back has deteriorated as well as my hip joint.  There are days I can barely walk.  Why didn't I notice before?  I've also developed asthma.  I feel like the wreck of the Hesperus.

I'm so scared about Ron's next CT scan.  I'm worried about the spots in his lungs and whether the cancer has spread to his remaining kidney.  I don't know what will come next?  It seems that something changes every 12 months.  He has had two surgeries since his initial diagnosis.  A year ago this month he had surgery to remove the remaining cancer at the original kidney site.  Now there is concern that it has spread to his remaining kidney.  I think this is the most scared I've been since he was diagnosed with kidney cancer.  

We will celebrate our first anniversary as a married couple next month.  I'm glad our anniversary comes before the CT scan.  It's just psychological but I just want to have that day for us.  Ignorance is bliss and I want a little bliss.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Birds and the Bees

Today's post on Elderstorytelling Blog  In Search of the Clitoris, was such a hoot.  It got me to thinking of how I learned about the birds and the bees.  I was in the 4th grade and my best friend Karma decided it was time I learn the facts of life.  Karma was the self-appointed expert on all things anatomical because her mother was a pre-med student and Karma had access to all her medical books.  Karma was just going to blurt out what I was convinced would be very embarrassing information to have to hear so I convinced her to just draw a picture.  Karma being rather creative decided it would be much better understood if she created some kind of three dimensional illustration.  So out came the playdough!
After she was satisfied with her models she set up her display.  First she explained each set of anatomy and then she put everything into motion (so-to-speak).  Now, I didn't faint or anything but I sure wanted to.  I do remember calling her something of a liar and that I was absolutely positive no such activity had transpired between MY mother and father and I quickly exited her home.

It was weeks before I finally mustered the courage to ask my mother about what I was convinced was the misinformation  I had been fed by my friend.  To my horror.................horror mind mother backed up Karma's version of the birds and the bees and proceeded to tell more than I really wanted to know! did you learn about the facts of life?  Trial and error or did you have a friend like Karma?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Great Truths

1.  If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.
- Mark Twain

3. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself.
- Mark Twain

3. I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
- Will Rogers

4. No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.
- Mark Twain (1866)

5. The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
- Mark Twain

6. There is no distinctly Native American criminal Congress.
- Mark Twain

7. Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Mark Twain

8.  This would be a great time in the world for some man to come along that knew something.
- Will Rogers

9.   We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. – Will Rogers

10. We shouldn’t elect a President. We should elect a magician. – Will Rogers