Guilty Relief

(Not us in 1975, but a close replica of the hordes descending to pick over my parents’ stuff)

I found out today that Cousin T and Baby Sis are finally in Las Vegas, and they have started cleaning out Auntie’s house as part of settling her affairs. Her chaotic, borderline hoarder, mini mansion track home within 15 miles of the Las Vegas strip.

Until the call today, I didn’t realize what a mix of relief and insult I was carrying around from being replaced as her executrix – even though I’d told Auntie to replace me many times. Even though I am not on top of things enough in my own life to handle the work that closeout entails. I’d already been through a nightmarish cleanout of Auntie’s Florida home, with the help of Cousin T, her neighbors, her housekeeper and Auntie herself. 2010. Off work from the big fruit company for the Winter shutdown holidays. Chaos, that I should want no part of… and yet I’m a mix of guilt for being relieved, as well as frustration that I’m also NOT allowed to help in person because Baby Sis wants no part of me.

Of course, because I know where most of the bodies are buried, the phone calls from Cousin T have continued for the past 4 months as they pick my brains for information.

Today’s call was to ask if I wanted anything specific of Auntie’s possessions. Anything that I might have valued which I gifted to her over the years. I reminded them that I’m trying to pare down my own possessions and didn’t want or need anything. [You’d think Cousin T would have remembered that I took nothing from Auntie’s home during the Florida cleanout. However, since she shipped a number of items to her own home, and neighbors were grabbing anything Auntie offered (only to have her later claw the items back, claiming her relocation was made under duress), that chaotic time was to be endured and got through. Not to be enjoyed and not to be re-experienced by recalling who got what. But, I remember. Sadly, I always remember].

I don’t need the nightmare of work sorting through past-due bills, manipulative car or money loans to virtual strangers, and certainly not the filth left behind from her unschooled dogs. Somehow, though, my feelings are hurt because I’m not there. Not doing one final chore of paying my respects by servitude.

No one else in the family is there and helping, yet I still feel I’m being derelict in my duties to my Aunt. To my sister and cousin. Family shows up, and I’m not allowed to do so. My Orphan status is emphasized again. I’m no longer family.

Like I said, I’m feeling guilty relief.

I still feel the trauma of that long ago 1975 Friday night May evening, when we were pulling everything out of the house, parking it all at the curb of our 200 year old house and barn. I was 15 years old, 4 years into my parent’s dirty little turf war, and preparing for my home to be sold at auction the next morning. Almost 3,000 square feet of space between the house, the basement and the garage / workshop / loft and barn.

Everything that we couldn’t take with us into homelessness parked and on display for the world to judge as worthy or unworthy for rehoming. For a new life without us. Neighbors and strangers picking through our so-called trash. Cars lined up at the curb, waiting to grab whatever tools or heirlooms were being dragged to the curb. Surreal. Ugly, even though everyone was well-behaved. The vultures were circling, picking over our misery and misfortune. All thanks to Daddy Dearest valuing money and pain over sanity and decency in keeping his children housed and sheltered.

(So different, the remodeled remains of my childhood home and barn / workshop)
(Still reflecting Mom’s hard work to bring this tiny Cape Cod style home up to habitability)

Mom didn’t know where we were going to land. Dad was certain the judge, after the house was auctioned out from under us, would take us away from our Mom, helping him by twisting the knife in the wound he’d made with his infidelities and unhappiness with his life. I’d already met with Dad’s lawyer in in 1974, refusing to turn against my Mom and lie about accusations of maternal abuse for my father. I wanted no part of his total annihilation plan, as I was assured that the judge would decide where it was best for Baby Sis and me to live, Big Brother having already moved in with our father at the bachelor’s boarding home down the street.

Down but not defeated, Mom managed to broker a deal to sell the house at the 11th hour, avoiding the final humiliation of an Auctioneer in the front yard. With a few weeks to complete the paperwork she got us moved into an actual address, a 1940’s tract home nightmare / DIY dream of mold and mildew, endless repairs, and DIY rehabbing.

Why do I tell you all this? Because homes are a lot of work. People and their emotions are a lot of work. Fighting over assets is so not my scene. I don’t know why I can’t be content like any other beneficiaries of Auntie’s estate to just leave things to the Trustee Duo, but I can’t. Being excluded hurts. I’ve been Auntie’s caregiver, long distance, since my Mom’s COPD took control in 1998. 22 years of long distance caregiving. I’ve certainly given my share of love and care and inclusion that is the duty one owes to family members. I know it will be nice to have whatever inheritance which may remain after all of her out-of-control debts are settled. But, even if there’s nothing monetary left, she will always be in my heart. I don’t want or need her detritus to remember her.

So, today’s call got me all stirred up, needlessly. I feel guiltily relieved for not having to do the necessary cleanup work, as well as hurt that I’m not included. 👀 Crazy, right? 🤷

Reunions

As I wrote a few moments ago, after reading the above posting on facebook:

Being with my Mom as she passed, we went through a period of Friday night through Sunday night, were Mom laid down on the couch for a quick nap after our final game of Scrabble, and she refused to be moved for the next 3 days. Sleeping in a chair by her side, to ensure her restive movements didn’t land her on the floor, I rouse her occasionally, asking if she needed the bathroom or wanted her bed.

It was clear that she was talking to someone, as she’d surface, focus reluctantly on me, shake her head and mumble, “No, Jo.” and then she’d shut her eyes to go right back to her dreaming state and whatever conversation I’d interrupted.

I’m not sure if the above author, Connie Hamilton, has the right of it, but being agnostic and refusing to claim knowledge of which I am not certain, I am hopeful that this author’s recounting of events might be true for us all someday. No stagnant heaven or fiery hell. Just a chance to continue long-interrupted conversations with people we miss who also miss us. Being with my pets would be a wonderful bonus.

Herself. Demanding my attention. Trying to convince me to do things her way. On her timetable. And glaring when I don’t cooperate. The growth on her back has reabsorbed again. I still have no idea what’s going on with her health, but she’s happy and playful and pushy – her normal self – so we continue to wait and see when the vet will allow pet parents to accompany their 4-legged children into vet appointments.

Should this be her final year with me, I want her to be happy, not in any pain, and having all the sunshine she could desire for napping. Beyond that, I have no answers. Should she pass before me, I hope she’ll find my brother in whatever next chapter awaits us all.

Practical

This post is in response to today’s prompt from Kristin and SparksFromACombustibleMind. Pingback link:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2021/02/17/practical/

I am mostly a practical individual. While I tend to lead with my heart, at the end of the day I’m lazy which makes me very practical. I have neither the time nor the energy to waste in lying to myself, and I’m struggling with my future and what it may hold for me.

The longer we stay stuck sheltering in place, the less motivation I have to do what I must. To do my past-due taxes. To paint the interior of my home in a “practical” fashion. To simply get on with the business of life, especially since I’m not particularly unwell, and I’m not dead. Yet.

The longer life goes on, though, without enough money for fun. Without enough freedom of movement to distract myself. Without any of the distractions to allow me to get out and enjoy the nonsense in the world. Without, without, without… I find myself contemplating my navel, which is never a good place to be.

So, being practical, I’m going to get off my duff and go wash a floor. Being stuck in your own head without adult supervision is not a good idea, and a practical person shuts off that train of pointless thoughts and distracts herself. Yes, I’m practical.

Grief Whisperer

Let me start by saying I don’t have any answers. I have been single my entire life, running from commitment, as I have known first hand what it is to be hated and resented over something you cannot control. Knowing from childhood my vulnerability, especially as I have memories of pain and recoveries, and the petty abuses I was subject to by nurses unhappy with my role in their life of caregiving, or violent abuses from my father, who was resentful over what my inability to quit and simply die did to the family finances, I have remained determinedly single. Safely alone.

While I was born a blessing to my family, as are most children, the discovery of birth defects within the first six (6) months of life changed that blessing to a fear. Fear of the future. Fear of loss. Fear of survival and related expenses to keep me alive, or to patch me up “good enough” to pass for normal.

I was born at a time of change, which is both a blessing and a curse for the eventual path I would choose in life. It was a blessing, because I saw what the financial struggles to pay for my not-good-enough repairs did to my parent’s marriage. But, it was also a blessing because I didn’t have to choose to be someone’s wife or broodmare in order to survive financially in this world. I didn’t have to tie my future to some nameless, faceless, anyone-will-do male in order to have a life and a home of my own.

I tell you all of that because I’m struggling with my memories and the “what might have beens” this week. My friend, K, is still dying. Her significant other, R, is still caring for her while having no rights in their shared home of thirty (30) or more years due to them never marrying, and due to how her will and trust have been set up with her (now grown) children in mind.

In addition to all of this, I’m reading a new book that is very compelling (“enjoyable” feels like the wrong word), about a young woman who was discriminated against due to a medical condition, and the fact that she was born around 1910 in the hills of Kentucky.

I won’t spoil the story, but she’s forced to marry against her will because that was the only “respectable” option for a young woman at that time and place. Luckily, her awful husband dies, and quickly, but her medical condition is such a trial to her that when she is later made ill daily due to medical experiments to “cure” her otherwise inoffensive situation, she keeps up with the treatments in the hope that she can pass for normal, as a white woman.

There are so many factors in this story that are pressing all my buttons, including the fact that her wrong-headed but otherwise loving father sets her on the path to vanity rearing it’s ugly control over her life in a physically painful and dangerous manner, that it’s had my head spinning and churned up many long-forgotten memories of some of the more demoralizing battles I fought with my Mother in her desire to see me pass for normal. Her version of 1950’s era normal, when I was living in the 1970’s and charting an unknown path to my future.

When I was 11 years old, I was sent to live with my Aunt and Uncle on Cape Cod in a tiny, 2 bedroom cottage for most of the Summer of 1972. My Mom had tried to kill my father one night in January, when his cruelty knew no bounds and he demeaned her for daring to challenge him for, again, stepping out on their marriage.

My Mom scared herself that night, knowing that if she were successful in allowing his abusive words and actions to continue, it would shrivel her to her soul. She also realized that if she did kill him, she’d leave her three (3) surviving children without any parents as she’d spend the rest of our growing up years in prison. So, divorce was her second choice.

I tell you all that to tell you this, though… while I may not have understood enough of what was going on in my parent’s marriage and my aunt and uncle’s abusive marriage, I somehow absorbed the message that married women were property. Second class citizens. Subject to the whims of their husbands when life got challenging.

It was also made very clear to me that having children was my primary value as a human being, and that the thoughts I was hearing about women’s lib, and being more than a broodmare, and the potential to be all that I could be as the pilot of my own life, all unmarried possibilities, were complicated by the choice to marry and have children.

My parents were very different in how they prepared me for the marriage market, but I fought them at every turn. When I was 14, in 1975, I’d already seen enough of philandering and violence between my Aunt and Uncle – stories that I could not tell either parent as I would not have been believed – that I knew I wanted nothing to do with dating.

Mom came down to Cape Cod to visit, and there was a dance at the yacht club that my Uncle insisted my younger cousin attend. She was property, and her marriage at some point was to be yet more access to power. He was a school teacher most of the year, but he had political ambitions. While his lecherous eyes wanted to see my cousin’s bountiful double D’s in a low cut dress, I knew the incestuous sickness his soul carried, and I wanted nothing to do with having any man’s eyes on me – never mind being all decked out as prey. Never mind the fact that I had a scar between my breasts so any attention I might garner would be especially uncomfortable and unwanted. So, Mom and I had one of our very rare, knock down drag out verbal skirmishes over her fear that I was too mannish to ever learn my proper place and my role in life, possibly lesbian (another undiscussable topic), and even though I knew how much she truly loved and cared for me, and how she’d struggled in her own marriage, I couldn’t tell her how terrified I was to be vulnerable prey.

Instead, we fought over the fact that she wanted to spend her hard earned money to buy me a pretty dress, to force me into the torture of a humiliating evening as a dance wallflower, or, worse, be the subject of sexual attention of the most innocent sort that I knew I couldn’t handle, and would be a humiliation.

No answers here. I’ve watched the “Free Brittney” documentary, and this is a blog draft I wrote around Christmas, and only now am I ready to finish and publish it. I have so many conflicting ideas about women and their choices that I’ll close here.

Some of the latest “Free Brittney” controversial links for super justice warrior theories

Pink’s Jealousy and Self-Control

Woh-oh-oh
Woo-ooh-ooh-oohEver wonder ’bout what he’s doin’
How it all turned to lies
Sometimes I think that it’s better
To never ask why

Where there is desire there is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame, someone’s bound to get burned
But just because it burns doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try
Gotta get up and try, try, try
Gotta get up and try, try, tryHey-he-hey

Funny how the heart can be deceiving
More than just a couple times
Why do we fall in love so easy
Even when it’s not right?No-oh-oh, no oh

Where there is desire there is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame, someone’s bound to get burned
But just because it burns doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try
Gotta get up and try, try, try
You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try

Ever worry that it might be ruined
And does it make you wanna cry?
When you’re out there doing what you’re doing
Are you just getting by?
Tell me, are you just getting by, by, by?

Where there is desire there is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame, someone’s bound to get burned
But just because it burns doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try
Gotta get up and try, try, try

You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try
Gotta get up and try, try, try
Gotta get up and try, try, try
You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try
Gotta get up and try, try, tryYou’ve gotta get up and try, try, try
Gotta get up and try, try, try

“Cause I like you…”

Put your make up on
Get your nails done
Curl your hair
Run the extra mile
Keep it slim
So they like you, do they like you?

Get your sexy on
Don’t be shy, girl
Take it off
This is what you want, to belong
So they like you, do you like you?

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try
Yooou don’t have to try


Ohh get your shopping on, at the mall, max your credit cards
You don’t have to choose, buy it all
Do they like you? Do they like you?

Wait a second,
Why should you care, what they think of you
When you’re all alone, by yourself
Do you like you? Do you like you?

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to bend until you break
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try

You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try


Yooou don’t have to try Nooooo
Oooh You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try
You don’t have to try

Take your make up off
Let your hair down
Take a breath
Look into the mirror, at yourself
Don’t you like you?
Cause I like you

Threatened by Style

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While I am not religious now, I was raised Roman Catholic.  (I emphasize the “Roman” part as we were lock step in line with the Pope’s mandates, and since moving to California, I have found that there are many varied versions of Catholicism that aren’t as strict as the catechism I was taught).

Growing up, our neighbors were the McManuses, with Mr. John F. McManus becoming the eventual President of the John Birch Society when its Founder, Robert Welch, eventually promoted him into the role as his successor in 1991.  (The John Birch Society is a group focused on hatred of “others” and Communism, straight from the arms of former Senator Joe McCarthy.  I won’t go into them here, but you can google them to see just how far their doctrines have strayed from the teachings of Jesus to be generous with others, and to help and provide aid and succor when an opportunity presents itself).

At any rate, I tell you all that to tell you this:  I was raised to wear the Lady of Fatima chapel cap when in a church setting.  Yes, it was the dark ages.  Yes, my hair was long and worn down very much like the young lady in the photo, above.  I had no idea of the stereotype or fetishism I was being groomed to appeal to; I was a child, so I had a child’s perception of the wider world.

Everything about my image and clothing were my family’s business, because I was taught I not only had an obligation to present myself in the world in a “respectable” and “feminine” manner, I also had to give the image of a chaste yet sexually appealing young woman, who was able to bring pride to her family simply by the blessing of my appearance alone.

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(Not my chest scar, but similar in appearance after 50 years of healing)

Due to the scars on my body from the repairs made to try and repair my birth defects, I knew from a young age that my body would never measure up.  I knew this from every glance at my body in a swimsuit, and from every intrusive question asking for my story, or every childish finger point and shouted condemnation demanding that others look at my scarred and refurbished body when in a swimsuit.  Needless to say, from a young age onward my goal was to keep any scarred parts covered.  Everything was complicated by our tight budget due to my repairs, and the fact that I was related to a number of lithe teenage girls, whose hand-me-downs regularly circulated among our relatives’ houses. Every swimsuit season was a nightmare as I wanted a 1-piece or a more “modest” suit.  I would be gifted bikini’s, and there would be fights because I didn’t know how to be “grateful” for the nightmare I’d been handed in the form of a simple piece of clothing.

Add into this “age-appropriate” rite of passage the fact that I had been bullied, physically abused, and taunted by my peers as part of my status as a big-mouthed, female, social misfit who found it incredibly easy to draw the ire of others.  Both adults and children.  From a young age, people either loved or hated me, and my refusal to follow the social norms for a female of my age, race and parental income brackets led to societal pressure to comply with individual expectations or be punished.  Punished by social exclusion (yes!) or physical abuse because I was seen as weak, female, and easy prey (no!).

This battle of what was appropriate for me to say, to wear, and when, plus endure orchestrated social events that related to opportunities where I might be shown off and displayed to best advantage in order to snag an appropriate life partner were exhausting battles.  I didn’t have the language to defend my reluctance to be vulnerable.  My life was already hard enough, just trying to endure and get through every day without being chased or hit by my peers if I failed to get away.

There was no discussion about PTSD – post traumatic stress disorder – and whether my circumstances were so very different from those of my parents, friends and peers that their social pressure was actually another form of abuse.  There were lots of attempts to “fix” me, to get me to want what others of my age and gender were supposed to want.  There was no room for discussion of how I viewed my life or my future.  There was no discussion about how I failed to measure up to the desired cultural norms.  I just knew that I was an expensive person in my parent’s lives due to my many repairs, and everyone was anxious to have my future settled.

Similar to both Jo and Beth of Little Women fame, in that I had a big mouth but preferred to stay at home, especially if social events with strangers were involved, I somehow got the impression that I wasn’t expected to live to adulthood, but if I did then everyone would  be happier if I pursued Meg’s path than in pursuing Jo’s choices for autonomy before anything else.

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As a society, I don’t believe we realize just how much we have always judged and shaped our young people into images we can approve of, admire, and also often bask in their reflected glory as we manipulate or steer them into situations where we can observe them going through societal rituals related to the mating dance and their futures as sexual beings.   Nor do we consider the very different ways we encourage and discourage young boys and girls to comply with our particular income bracket’s social and cultural norms, or how to be good adults who care for the feelings and needs of others…  never mind the specific other to whom you are supposed to hitch your financual and social wagon.

So, I tell you all that to tell you this – as a society, we have such complex ideas of right and wrong, good and evil, plus lack of understanding of our own sexual mores and motivations, that it’s a wonder our two genders manage to get along at all.  Our desire to control our young women and men, shepherding them along paths we feel will suit them best, is especially maddening.

Maybe I’m just a slow study, but I knew from about 5 or 6 years old that I didn’t want kids.  I didn’t want to be yolked to another in marriage. I couldn’t articulate my mother’s suffering with each miscarriage, or her very deep depression when my baby brother was born and died from SIDS – sudden infant death syndrome – before he even made it home from the hospital, but I knew such a fertility struggle wasn’t for me.  My birth defects made my practical choices obvious to me.  While I grew up saying I never wanted to be married, I couldn’t say it was due to never wanting to be seen as vulnerable.  Never wanting to be pressured to have a child that might have my same birth defects.  If you speak, especially as a woman refusing to occupy her customary role in society, people try to talk you out of your beliefs or fears.   It’s often easier just to remain silent while continuing to go along with most expectations until you can escape.

While I can come here and blog with the inner voice that is otherwise silent in the real world, the fact remains that I don’t fit anyone’s idea of what a person, a woman, “should” be.  I am someone threatened by style, because I know how often the image we project is not the truth of the person.  54 years after I began this social journey and encountered violence from the bigger world, I still can’t easily go along to get along, and I can’t forget how physically vulnerable I am, even as I pass for a happily invincible older woman.

I started this blog back in August 2020, when I was dealing with the houseguests’ issues about how she chose to live her life, and how cheated she feels with her level of life choices at age 65.  I couldn’t post it when she lived with me, and I’m still trying to wrap my brain around her level of entitlement.  But, I purged today’s bucket of mind clutter, so that’s a start for reclaiming my motivation to participate in life.

Psychosis? Dementia?

As I may or may not have made clear prior to now, a former boss and long term friend was moved into assisted-living due to worsening dementia way back in March 2019, while I was away on vacation. Things came to a head while I was out of town, and I came home to find that well-meaning friends of our mutual friend convinced her to give up her home and move into an assisted living facility without any realistic plan for our friend’s long term care needs.

Of particular concern to me was the fact that assisted living is NOT required to keep a resident if they could no longer pay for services and fell into the state’s Medicaid coverage plan to supplement what Medicare could not once one became indigent.

While we are mostly handling the financial issues through her family in Canada, efforts to get them to understand that their Aunt may outlive her savings and should be moved to a Medicare-approved facility where she cannot be kicked out if she runs out of money have fallen on deaf ears. Being part of a socialized medicine country, they have no clue about the intricacies of Medicare and non-Medicare facilities, and any efforts to get them to consider moving her to Canada before her funds are exhausted have fallen on deaf ears. She’s soon to be 84, and while the brain may be dying, her body is like the energizer bunny of bodies…

The average life span of a person diagnosed with Dementia is 4 to 8 years after diagnosis. However, that doesn’t take into account that the longest life span (so far) is 20 years. Diagnosed at about 80 years of age, my friend could make it to 100 or more.

Add into my friend’s situation where no one is focused on limiting her autonomy, the most recent changes in her health have gone unnoticed as we have been forced to advocate for her in lieu of a spouse, children or other recognized family representatives. I have just sent off yet another note to the Director and Nursing Administrator politely demanding her medication schedule, what she is or is not taking by date and name, in preparation for her next neurology appointment.

The pandemic has limited our ability to enter her apartment and know what’s occurring and this weekend was particularly challenging as she’d found contact lenses and put them in her eyes. We don’t know when they were inserted, as they were all supposed to have been removed from her apartment last July, after we found she was not removing her daily wear contacts, and had begun to spray lens cleaner directly into her eyes. Luckily, they were able to find and remove the crusty contacts off her eyes on Saturday, and no further damage appears to have been done to her eyes.

Next, I was called numerous times on Sunday morning, as she was anxious that I wasn’t there and she was expecting movers and needed my help. Agitated, she tore her apartment into disarray, trying to get ready on her own, and only stopped when I was finally able to talk to her, reassuring her that she wasn’t moving as she was no longer allowed to live alone. Later that day, she called another friend and claimed her belongings had been rifled through, and worried that the staff was stealing from her. She had no memory of our conversations, or that she had messed up her rooms herself.

Trying to get a care plan in place is very difficult if one is not able to be with their loved one in their living space. While I hope our both being vaccinated against the corona virus should ease the restrictions against my entering the building and accessing her apartment, I fear it’s going to be an uphill battle to get my friend the quality of care she so desperately needs. I’m spending my otherwise sleepless night* memorizing the various options and treatments recommended to narrow down what type of dementia she has, and seeing if we can improve upon the medications she nay or nay not be getting in an effort to try and improve her quality of life. Right now, it’s like a sad chapter from “A Beautiful Mind”, and I refuse to believe that we can’t get better quality of life options for trying to deal with her hallucinations and psychosis.

Time to put my big girl panties on and advocate for her to receive a better diagnosis than dementia and neglect. Wish me luck.

Note: * = I have my own health issues and am wide awake from pain. If I’m going to be awake, I might as well put my wasted time otherwise spent staring at the ceiling to good use.

Happy February !


It’s been a restful couple of weeks while I have hidden from the rain and spent way too much time napping on the couch. Life has been good, despite the water leak from the swamp cooler wall control reappearing in last weekend’s brutal rainstorms.

I was able to get my liver ultrasound done this past Monday, and it looks like the nodule on my pancreas is growing and is now 10mm and of concern vs. 8mm and no biggie. Yawn.

The next joy was to read that the water retention in my lungs and around my heart is concerning, but given the amount of water I’m drinking and shedding each day, trust me, it could be worse.

On the bright size, my failing liver is functioning much better than they can explain (thank you, Reservatrol dietary supplements!) and Ms Katie’s back lump has re-absorbed once again, leaving me baffled but thankful since I still can’t get any vet to let me into the exam room with her, and I’m not letting her go in alone.

Otherwise, I got another car load of pavers picked up yesterday and emptied out of the car today. In between naps, of course. Not much going on as it’s still, technically, Winter in my part of the woods…

Luckily, no one has told Mother Nature, so the fields and trees have plans of their own to brighten up after last week’s rain (and snow, up in the foothills).



Whatever you’re doing, stay warm and have fun. Warmer weather and brighter times are coming.