Saturday, June 28, 2014

Living or Existing?

So very quiet this morning, not able to sleep. My mind wanders. My father has been on hospice for a year. I ask myself why God would cause this much pain. Not in a physical sense. My father doesn't have the unstoppable pain of cancer, most days simply lies in bed, his mind grey and quiet. This is the pain of loss. Loss of laughter, loss of love, loss of awareness. I spoke to Dad's nurse last week. She said this is the nature of his disease. A slow and steady death. In a few months, my son will be moving out of state to go to school. I am so very, very proud of him. Even though he has lived 200 miles away for the last three years, I was able to take weekend trips every few months to visit. He will be 2000 miles away, no more trips. More loss. I haven't stitched or quilted in almost a month. I haven't exercised in two weeks. Most days it is all I can do to make it to work, make it back home. I feel as though I am existing, not living. All of this is loss and I need to get back on track...Love the ones you are with, tell them how you feel. Give them a hug. Be kind to one another.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

All Alone...Almost...

Been back to work for a week now. I cannot believe how much paperwork makes it's way to my desk, and then moves in! Every vacation is closer to retirement. I only have about 18 months to go. I can do this. DH and stepson went to the Sierras for a week. is just me and Dad. Been a really long time since I've only had to take of just two people. Dad is on full soft meals, so mostly soups. That means I can have anything I want for dinner. I've had a blue cheese burger, bean burritos, and salad with chicken. So much easier than the full meals I am usually expected to prepare. I have taken care of others my whole life. The oldest of three, it was my job to be the babysitter. Married at 20, got a husband, still taking care of him. Then assorted family members moving in and out for the next six years, then had my son. About the same time he moved out, in moved my dad. In my whole life, I think I have been responsible for JUST me for about one year. It's not that I don't love my family, but I am so tired. I take a few days every three months for myself, but the tired comes back. I know that I will miss my dad when he is gone, but after a year of hospice, I don't really see an end anymore. I think I will have some popcorn with extra butter, watch a silly movie, do some stitching, and go to bed early. Maybe that will fix my attitude. Be kind to one another.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Latest Trip to the Bay Area....

I am on the downhill side of my vacation. Only a few days left, so took the time to visit my son in the Bay Area. When I go up that way, we try to do fun stuff. We've went on walks, took the ferry to the city, went to a bonsai garden, and this visit, it was to the Oakland Museum of California. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon. Three different floors: art, history, and animals/plants. We started with the history floor. The exhibits begin with the native Californians, then go decade by decade. Very interesting. Gives you quite a bit of information about different tribes with examples of baskets, pottery, clothing, etc. Because California was known as the movie capital of the world, there are several areas that cover Hollywood and the history of movie making in California. A few sections are interactive and we had a lot of fun. In the 1960 section, there are exhibits done by individuals that shows how history was personal to "them". Some were sad, some were happy, but it was well worth the time to study each one. Next, off to the Art floor. It was okay, I just never seem to get the "abstract" stuff. But, I really liked the exhibits that showed architecture and furniture! LOL We were at the museum for four hours and could have spent several more. Here's a selfie that I tried to take. You can tell I need practice!
I added the heart, just because. When the museum closed for the evening, off on a side trip to Jack London Square. Stopped by the "First and Last Chance Bar". This bar is on the list of National Literary Landmarks and the weather was perfect for sitting on the patio with a cold drink. Dinner was Thai. I don't care for tofu, so stuck with veggies in garlic sauce. Very yummy! Another successful trip, I sure do love that kid! Back to real life on Monday...After working for 30 years, I think I'm ready to start the countdown to retirement. There is so much to see in life and I don't want to wait until I can't appreciate it! Be kind to one another.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I'm on the Five Year Plan!

Today was the day for my colonoscopy and I am very excited! LOL All is clear and I am on the five year plan! Please, please, please, if you are at risk or over 50, take a little trip to the doctor and ask about this test. I personally didn't like that I was on a liquid diet for 36 hours, and the prep is a pain in the butt (pun intended) but finding out that you have Stage 4 cancer (and it was too late) is horrible. So, sign up, people... On the vacation front, I've been finishing a chore a day. House windows are washed, truck is washed and waxed, fish tank is cleaned. I am on a roll. I am going to include today's doctor visit in my list of chores, thank you very much. Next week I've got a few more doctor's appointments to take care of and then I'm good for a year. Some people think I'm wasting my vacation, but when you have a family member on hospice, you try to use your time to the best advantage. I have caregivers for my dad five hours a day, so I'm taking the time to take care of myself... I've done a little stitching this week. I've been working on this sampler for at least a year. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long, but I'm on the home stretch, so it should be done by the end of vacation. Here is Prairie Moon, The Red and The Black. I'm using black silk and really like the look, haven't decided yet if I will do the red...hmmm, will think about it some more.
I'm also working on a quilt, but no pictures this time. I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. Be kind to one another.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Can I Have a "V"?

Can I have a V? Can I have an A? Can I have a C? Yes, it is vacation time!! Can I have a big whoo hoo? Because of my job, I cancelled several vacations in the last six months, just taking a day or two here and there. I am so ready and as another supervisor has graciously taken over the afterhours sick calls, I am free for two weeks! No sleeping with my phone, waiting for that ominous tone that tells me I'll be waking up the rest of the staff, trying to cover a shift. I am a lucky girl. I don't have a lot planned, first week is for chores and doctor's appointments. You know, all those tests you need after 40. I have several family members with colon issues, all the way to colon cancer. I did my first colonoscopy at 45. I am on my third, just to make sure there are no secrets lurking in there. For those who think that it is too intimate, too embarrassing, think again. Just consider how intimate it is to have someone remove part of your colon and attach a bag. Get the test, group. Other than that, I think I will have a good vacation! LOL I've got some stitching planned, a little quilting, and maybe a trip to visit my son. And, if I head north, we all know that I'll be taking a side trip to Modesto. After all, it would only be one hour out of my way. I've been working in the yard, little by little catching up on removing all the dead stuff from our freeze last winter. It's tough with the water issues in our area. We've been in a drought for several years, and being on a well, we are extra careful with watering. I've lost several trees and rose bushes, just trying to keep the rest alive until the drought breaks. My dad is still hanging in there. We are one year into hospice. We have caregivers during the week, only 5 hours a day, but I am going to keep them during my vacation. That way, I can get stuff done without worrying about him. It is hard, but I know in my heart that taking care of him at the end is the right thing to do. So, off to start my day. First cup of coffee was pretty tasty, may just have to have one more. Be kind to one another.