Sunday, January 26, 2014

Getting On With The Day

So very early...everyone is quiet at my house. It seems that the more I need to sleep, the less I do. My mind starts to go to my job, to my craft projects, to the housework that I didn't finish yesterday, to my dad. All of us were horribly sick last week. My dad started with it, passed it to husband, and I finished it up three days later. It was really difficult to see my dad so sick. Not sure where this illness came from, but with so many caretakers and others in and out of the house, who knows? I was worried enough that I made a call to hospice. I was assured that he wouldn't dehydrate after only 24 hours, but they would be by to see us the next morning. He was bright-eyed and bushy tailed by 11:00 am the next day, but this illness left a lasting impression. The nurse said that he looked okay(considering that he is on hospice), and when it got to DAYS and WEEKS, she would let me know. Days and weeks? I guess since we've been on hospice for six months, I sort of forgot that there would be an end. It is easier to just live day by day, not thinking about the future in a solid form. I really don't think much about the day that I won't be caring for someone. But I ramble... The point is, being ill made me realize that my dad is COMPLETELY dependent on my husband and I for his day to day care. If one of us gets sick, the other has to pick up the slack. This scared me, a lot. I need to stay healthy. I've been slowing down, not exercising like I should, not eating right, not taking care of myself. I need to get my act together. I need to pick my butt up off of the couch and do that walk. Skip having dessert every night. Caring for myself is the least I can do for my dad and husband. We are all we have right now. Be kind to one another.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

When You Change From the Daughter to the Parent

I have mentioned that my father is not well. The truth is that he is on hospice and has been so for about six months. He moved in for the winter, but when the weather was better, my husband and I decided that Dad was no longer able to care for himself. That was three years ago. The doctor said Parkinson's and dementia. What an easy thing to say when someone asks, what a horrible disease. Looking back now, I knew there was something just not right. The early morning calls, asking what day of the week it was. The lack of cleanliness. Forgetting to pay the bills. I put it down to his age. He was good at hiding his disease. Would forget to call back, then would say his cell phone battery was dead. Always came to my house, never invited me into his. He insisted that he didn't need help. I insisted he did. Cleaning the house and preparing meals began monthly, then weekly, then daily. My father had been my rock, a single dad of three in the 1960's. His life revolved around my siblings and me. If he was not at work, he was with us. His first heart attack and surgery was at 48. I fully expected him to die after a hard day at work, on his horse or four-wheeler. I would have been crushed and would have missed him terribly. This is so much worse. I hate to watch him slowly waste away, first his mind, now his body. I have become the parent, enforcing the rules of appropriate snacks, what clothes he wears, what time he gets up, what time he goes to bed. Why is life so cruel? Not for my sake, but for his. When he was aware that his mind was slipping, he kept saying that he didn't want to be a burden. Now he is in a world that is clouded and I cannot find the way in. I do not enjoy the role that I am forced to play. I know that what I am doing is right, but it is so very hard. I still want to be the daughter. Hold your loved ones tight, never take anything for granted. Be kind to one another.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Do You Read The Last Page First?

I have a horrible habit. As soon as I pick up a book, I flip to the last page. Do a quick review. Hmmmm, is this the book for me? I have no idea why I do this, but it seems that I have done this forever. It worked well in grammar school. I was an avid reader, and to be honest, Nancy Drew books usually did the wrap-up in the last few pages. LOL As the books got longer, sometimes I had to read the entire last chapter to get the information I needed. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Sue Grafton don't always wrap it up nice and neat in the last few pages. I picked up a book last week, BEFORE I DIE by Candy Chang. If you are not familiar with the book, it documents cities and neighborhoods where people have placed blackboards with the words, BEFORE I DIE I WANT TO....... Passerbys are then encouraged to add to the boards using chalk. Pretty amazing idea and a good book. It gives you insight to how people are more alike than not. Once again, I flipped to the back...This writer is pretty sneaky. The last few pages were instructions on how to create a board of your own. What?! Not only did she not wrap up the story, but now I was expected to participate! For once, I was forced to read a book in the order in which it was written. And you know what, it worked! I may have to try that again. Be kind to one another.

Monday, January 6, 2014

I Finished Some Things!

December was a tough month. Lots to do, never enough time. Did my housework early Saturday morning and then spent some quiet time finishing up some projects. Just to prove that I stitch...and then finish that project into SOMETHING...ta da!
Lizzie*Kate Falalalala. And then, finished piecing a quilt, made a quick back, and completed the binding. My first try at batiks. Not my usual choice, but love, love, love the color saturation.
My son suggested the blue border...sort of like an island, covered with lush vegetation, fluffy white clouds, surrounded by a brilliant blue ocean... Be kind to one another.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Does Your Dog Love You? Or Is It All About The Food?

From where I sit at the kitchen table, I can see my dog laying in the sun, soaking up the warmth. It is only 56 degrees here in central California, but the sun is shining and there is no wind. So, as I watch my dog napping, it makes me think about our relationship. George is a very good dog. He stopped eating the trim on the house about two years ago and now just digs tiny little holes in the grass. I can live with that, since on the flip side, he does a pretty good "big dog" bark that will stop people at the gate. When we have company, he is known to stand between our guest and myself. My protector.
He has lived with my family since he was 8 weeks old. One of nine puppies, he raised by a family with three kids. They thought that George was a doll. Dressed him up, carried him all over the house. He is patient beyond reason. I play "scary teeth" with him (stick my fingers in his mouth)and guess who (I put my hands over his eyes). He doesn't even move. I ask myself, does my dog love me, or is it all about the food? I'm betting on love, the food is just a bonus. Be kind to one another.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014