Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thank you AARP!

I feel like a clogged blogger....nothing much to say and nothing much going on.  I managed to get Mike's taxes done yesterday after I hit a snag trying to figure it out myself.  I couldn't read the tax statement sent to him by Edward R. Jones.......duh....  I was pretty sure he wasn't going to have to file a return but I really wanted to be sure.

Thanks to the AARP and their volunteers I was able to get it done for free.  I was hoping I would learn something at the same time but I really didn't.  I know Mike doesn't have to file a return but they did file to get his $40.00 rebate on state sales tax.  Mike was happy about that.

Mike was a little emotional yesterday.  Just talking about the IRS gets him excited.  He was hospitalized in the past when he got the idea that the IRS was going to put him in prison.  His paranoia led him to a suicide attempt and a two month hospitalization.  But he's past all that today and his world is brighter.

I checked on the activities schedule at the senior citizen center and tried to interest Mike in some of the activities.  I don't know if Mike's short attention span will work against him but since he likes to exercise I thought he might do Tai Chi or the stretching and toning sessions.  They also had western line dancing which he might really like.  He didn't seem too interested in anything I was suggesting but I won't give up. 

His loneliness is the biggest issue and I'm back to thinking about a little dog.  I just have to realize that it could end up being MY dog and I need to be sure that I'm OK with that.  The other concern is that Mike would just get obsessed about the dog and that could turn into a real problem.  I've really got to give this some thought!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A must read

After reading the Time magazine article Bitter Pill by Steven Brill I'm left more discouraged than ever.  I'm also a little angry that the American people have been so duped.  We aren't the sharpest tacks in the box at times.   In the U.S., people spend almost 20% of the gross domestic product on health care, compared with about half that in most developed countries. Yet in every measurable way, the results our health care system produces are no better and often worse than the outcomes in those countries.

Although nothing in the article was a huge surprise to me it wasn't a time when I celebrated the fact that I was right. Who wants to be right about the fact that health care is eating away at our economy and our treasury.  Reading that  The health care industry seems to have the will and the means to keep it that way. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the pharmaceutical and health-care-product industries, combined with organizations representing doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, health services and HMOs, have spent $5.36 billion since 1998 on lobbying in Washington. That dwarfs the $1.53 billion spent by the defense and aerospace industries and the $1.3 billion spent by oil and gas interests over the same period. That’s right: the health-care-industrial complex spends more than three times what the military-industrial complex spends in Washington.

I hope everyone will read this article.  It is well written and in words we can all understand.  I wish I could believe we could change this but I'm just not sure.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's been a long day already.  I awoke to thunder/sleet on the day that I had to be at work for a meeting by 6:00 am.  I was afraid I'd be the only one here but fortunately we had enough for a quorum.
Fortunately the sleet and snow were out of here by 10 am and things have dried up.

I'm finally over my respiratory infection and feeling human again.  It's just been a long two weeks.

People are starting to feel the impact of the so-called sequestration.  The  FAA has put their furlough plans in place.  My friend Linda's husband will be furloughed and will potentially lose $9,000/year.  That's a real hit.  Even Walmart is complaining and asking "Where are all our customers?"   Everyone is scared to spend any money and that's not going to help the economy. 

I don't understand how so many politicians can have their heads up their butts.  It's discouraging for sure.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Leave it to a little kid to put a smile on your face!!!!

This is truly first grade logic,
Little Susie goes home from school and tells her mom that the boys keep asking her to do cartwheels because she's very good at doing them.
Mom said : "YOU should say NO - they only want to look at your undies".
Susie said: " I know they do ... that's why I hide them in my backpack"!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dust to dust

My son-in-law lost his father yesterday.  Mel passed away at 4:30 yesterday afternoon.  Chris had been hopeful that his dad would be transferred to a skilled nursing facility but unfortunately his dad took a turn for the worse and died shortly after.

It is hard to see my children and their spouses experiencing loss like this.  Both of my son-in-laws have now lost their parents.  I'm the only living parent in their lives now.  Well, the girl's dad is still alive but not in their lives so I don't know if he counts.  Neither of the boys have ever seen him and the girls haven't in over 30 years.

I'm in the process of updating wills and advance directives due to the fact that I've remarried and have a name change etc.  Ron and I discussed what we want to do this morning.  My home will go to my daughters but in the event that I should die before Ron it will allow him to remain in the home as long as he wants or until his death.  The girls have no problem with that.  They love Ron and want him to be OK.  When we are both gone I just want everything sold and split between my daughters.  I don't want them hanging on to "stuff".. 

There is a lot of planning that goes into kicking the bucket.  I never thought much about it before but the closer I get the more I think about it.  It's my nature to want all the i's dotted and the t's crossed.  But I'm frugal enough that I hate the idea of lawyer's and mortician's making money off my dead corpse.  I guess I can't have everything.  I've prepaid the funeral home...opted to be cremated.  I'm flying on the cheap.....I don't care what happens to my ashes....I just don't want them buried in a cemetary that charges you for an entire plot just to use a post hole digger to put my ashes in the ground. 

My son-in-law wants his dad's ashes buried with his mother's.  She is in a full plot at the cemetary.  However, the cemetary is telling him that there is a state law that requires only one cremains per plot.  I told Chris that is just plain bull.  My parents cremains are buried in the same plot and it's here in Oklahoma.  I researched and found no such statute.   Another example of greed in my opinion. 

I wouldn't mind my ashes being skattered from a hot air balloon..... or skattered anywhere for that matter.  I don't want to be on someone's mantle though. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Roses are red.............

I spent Valentine's Day in bed yesterday nursing a cold.  Of course I was kept company by Mike calling me every 15 minutes to see if I was well yet.  He's a hoot!

Ron and I exchanged Valentine cards but tried to keep all other exposure to a minimum so as not to pass my cold on to him. 

I went to the Urgent Care clinic yesterday seeking medical intervention but the waiting room was filled with 30 or more sick people so I left.  I figured if I don't have the flu I don't want to get it either.  I was pretty sure I just had a respiratory ailment that they couldn't do anything for anyway.  So I went back home to bed and aside from the laryngitis that is still lingering I feel better. 

Every Valentine's day I remember a boy who was in my Journalism class in high school.  He made me a valentine out of an index card that he had burned all the edges on the card.  Then he wrote "Roses are red, violets are blue, where this card's been you're going too."    I would have been insulted but he was a good friend and funny as all get out.  I just laughed....but I never forgot it either!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Naked dieting ---- an after thought

Well naked dieting will have to's supposed to snow today.  Besides, I'm afraid the only appetite that would be suppressed is Ron's.  Poor guy!  I don't know what I was thinking anyway.  I just want to suppress my appetite not kill it all together!

We are getting some badly needed moisture here in the Sooner state today.  (Hmmmm I sound like the weather girl)  The only bad thing is that it may turn to ice this afternoon and it scares me to death that I might fall on the way to my car.  My hip hurts enough without falling on my keester.  I had a pair of shoe cleats but I wore the tips plumb off those suckers and never got around to getting another pair.  Guess I'll have to take my chances today!

The birthday boy had a good day.  He got phone calls from all 3 girls and he felt like Mr. It!  He was especially glad to hear from his daughter in N. Carolina as it has been over a year since he has seen her.  Hopefully we will be able to visit them this summer.  Everything hinges on Ron's CAT scans.  No planning more than 3 months in advance.  But if all goes well we might make it by October at the latest.

Since I have a ripping case of laryngitis I will be quieter than usual.  It's just another one of my birthday gifts to Ron.  A little peace and quiet.  


Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Handsome

Our weekend was very quiet.  I wasn't feeling great (not horrible) just not quite up to snuff.  Dear, dear Mike was preparing for his colonoscopy this morning so he was quite obsessed with the whole event.  He was on a liquid diet all day yesterday and Ron went over at 5:00 to help him prepare his magic elixir.  Ron actually got some sadistic pleasure watching Mike run to the throne. I guess that was payback for the gazillion phone calls poor Ron has to endure from Mike.

Mike told his Silver Sneakers class that he was going to bring pictures of his colonoscopy for show n' tell.  I told him I'm sure they are just thrilled.  I teased him and told him to ask the doctor to look for my keys while his in there since I haven't been able to find them for a month or two.  Ron said they just need to look for Mike's head!

Mike's doing OK but his memory is just completely gone.  We have the exact same conversations with him all day long.  He got the idea that the only way people can access 911 is by texting and he doesn't know how to text.  I have told him over and over that texting is just an additional service that is available and it doesn't change anything about the current system.  I don't know how long it will take before he can understand or remember what I've told him.

I worry sometimes that he shouldn't be living alone but we are in constant contact with him and check on him every day.  But...sometimes it just doesn't feel like enough.  

But tonight we will celebrate Ron's birthday and relish in the fact that in spite of cancer he is here to see it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh....speaking of birthdays....ok well, birthday suits to be exact.  I've decided that my new diet strategy is I will be consuming all my meals from now on while buck naked in front of a full length mirror.  Now, that should be the best appetite depressant I can find. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013


My son-in-law's father was taken off the ventilator last night and his blood pressure and heart rate were good and he was able to breathe on his own.  Chris believes that he had been so sedated the day before on propofol (the drug that killed Michael Jackson) that it may have suppressed his breathing.  Who knows....within an hour his dad was cracking jokes and talking.  I haven't received an update this morning but I'll go with No news is Good news!

I learned something this morning that was quite interesting.  Our local hospital, which is not part of a big hospital chain, has been having a lot of problems for some time.  We learned that the local physicians have boycotted the hospital and refuse to admit their patients.  (I wish they would disclose some of their reasons for doing so) but it has forced the hospital to hire hospital what that means is that if you go to the hospital you will not be seen by someone who has your medical history.  It will be a total stranger.  Not sure I like that at all.  This may be just the thing that will finally convince Ron to seek treatment elsewhere.  I've never been happy about using our local hospital for his treatment because I knew their infection control practices were not good.  Ron just didn't want to go to Okla. City but now he may reconsider.   I've wanted him to go to a cancer facility where I felt they would be more specialized and have the best treatment options.  But thank goodness we are not facing any immediate surgery.

Here in my own hospital workplace we are seeing more cases of the flu.  My friend Linda tested positive yesterday for Type A flu.   I woke up this morning with a hoarse throat but not really feeling too bad.  I wonder if it is just the beginning.....  This has really been a bad flu season.  So....wash, wash, wash, those hands!  Stay away from crowds!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's a sad day!

Today is a sad day.  My son-in-law was advised by his father's doctor to take his dad off life support.  

I still think of my son-in-law as the little boy I remember.  He met my daughter when they were in kindergarten.  He was my friend Debbie's son and I was so excited to see her that first day of school.  Debbie, Ron and I started to school together when we were six and we were classmates through graduation.  So it was exciting that our children would be going to school together.  I hadn't seen Debbie since the day I ran into her on Main street and noticed we were both pregnant.  I was due in December and she wasn't due until March but we were both in full bloom.

Life events separated our kids after their first year together as Debbie moved to a new school district.  The kids didn't reunite until high school.  They met again, became friends although it was apparent they both liked each other more than just as friends.  By the time they were in college it was apparent that this was a lasting relationship.

So, that is why I think of my son-in-law as my son.  He's been in my life almost as long as my own children.  Three years ago Debbie went to the doctor with a back ache and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.  She died six weeks later on Thanksgiving day.  Today my son-in-law will say good-bye to his father.  My heart aches for him.

I was exactly the same age as Chris when my father was taken off life support.  My dad had survived colon surgery one week prior but had succumbed to a severe asthma attack two days later.  Fortunately he had prepared an Advance Directive before surgery so as a family we were spared the agonizing decision to stop treatment.  Chris is not so fortunate.  The decision is his to make and I can't imagine how difficult that will be.  

The thing I remember most about the day my father died was knowing in advance it was about to happen.  It was all so surreal.  I kept thinking, "In a few moments my father will die."  I wondered how the world was able to go about its' business when my world was falling apart.  Didn't the world know that the most wonderful man on the earth was about to take his last breath?  That I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to breathe again without him.  This wonderful man who had loved me unconditionally all my life would never call me "doodle bug" again or hug me so tight and make me feel so safe that nothing could ever possibly harm me.   But he took care of us to the very end by making sure we would never have to make that final decision.  

Soooo I urge people to get an Advance Directive.  Make your final wishes known and spare your family any unnecessary pain of having to make that final decision.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Blonde Mortician

A man who'd just died is delivered to a local mortuary wearing an expensive, expertly tailored black suit. The female blonde mortician asks the deceased's wife how she would like the body dressed. She points out that the man does look good in the black suit he is already wearing.
The widow, however, says that she always thought her husband looked his best in blue, and that she wants him in a blue suit. She gives the blonde mortician a blank check and says, 'I don't care what it costs, but please have my husband in a blue suit for the viewing.'
The woman returns the next day for the wake. To her delight, she finds her husband dressed in a gorgeous blue suit with a subtle chalk stripe; the suit fits him perfectly...
She says to the mortician, 'Whatever this cost, I'm very satisfied. You did an excellent job and I'm very grateful. How much did you spend?'
To her astonishment, the blonde mortician presents her with the blank check.
'There's no charge,' she says. 
'No, really, I must compensate you for the cost of that exquisite blue suit!' she says.
'Honestly, ma'am,' the blonde says, 'it cost nothing. You see, a deceased gentleman of about your husband's size was brought in shortly after you left yesterday, and he was wearing an attractive blue suit. I asked his wife if she minded him going to his grave wearing a black suit instead, and she said it made no difference as long as he looked nice. So I just switched the heads.'

Monday, February 4, 2013

Here a gun, there a gun.....

I am beginning to feel like a broken record but the issue of gun control weighs heavy on my mind, both as the mother of two teachers but also as the caregiver for a mentally ill brother.   I am horrified of the idea that my daughters could be expected to be armed while attempting to teach and I’m appalled at the unwillingness of some to require stricter gun laws. 

After an extensive hospitalization 2 ½ years ago my brother easily purchased 3 handguns.  My brother suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and yet he had not problem purchasing weapons.  Something is wrong with that!  He just went to a local pawnshop and purchased the guns with no problem.  If it were not for the diligence of myself and another brother he would still have the weapons.  We constantly search his surroundings and confiscate anything we feel could put him or someone else in danger.  But our job would be a lot easier if weapons were not so easily accessible to our brother.

The real problem in the Newtown incident was a moonbat survivalist mother who took her mentally-ill son to a shooting range to train him in the use of the very Bushmaster that was used to kill her, 6 teachers, and 20 small children. The very person the NRA advocates for is the person that made this tragedy possible and yet no one seems to get it.

Paranoia and fear mixed with accessible weapons is a bad combination and you don’t have to have a mental illness to fit that description.  A fearful and armed teacher is just as potentially dangerous, at least in my opinion.  Even a paranoid homeowner is potentially as dangerous.  When you hear that bump in the night and the adrenalin gets to pumping you are far more likely to shoot a loved one who just got up to get a drink of water if you have a loaded gun under your pillow.  I have a friend who almost shot her brother-in-law because he rang her doorbell after 10:00 p.m.   Fear and guns are dangerous without the boogie man.

What really frustrates me is how easily the NRA manipulates people and their refusal to look at the immorality of enabling the sale and ownership of weapons meant to do one thing and one thing only: kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible.

The NRA’s solution to the assault weapons problem: here a gun, there a gun, everywhere a gun gun.