Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Typing a little weird here. Last night I got tangled in a table in the dark and fell on the sidewalk. I think I hit my hand on our fountain on the way down. After laying on the ground for a while taking inventory (landed on both knees- ouch!) I got up and looked at my hand. My little finger was swollen in a weird way and reeeeally didn't look right. I flexed it and found I could bend it so I decided to carry on. I was on my way to pick up Paige from a party. My hand hurt a bit but I figured I was ok to drive and I'd ice it when I got home.

When I was a little more than halfway there (and it wasn't far) a WAVE of lightheadedness swept over me. Delayed reaction, I guess. I debated whether or not I should pull over but it was late and there wasn't much traffic and I figured I could easily pull over if I felt like I was going to pass out. Besides, I wanted to get to Paige because I knew she could help me. So I started talking loudly to myself saying, "Hold it together! Hold it together!" Then when I turned down the last street I was chanting, "Paige will help you. Paige will help you." I pulled into the driveway and she was right there waiting. I rolled down the window and told her to go inside and call jim, that I thought I had broken my hand. She ran inside and came back out followed by the parents of Paige's friend. They were very sweet and stayed with me and gave me water and ice for my hand.

Hoo lordy, I was messed up! I didn't want to get out of the car because I was afraid I would just keel over. Just before Jim and Lindsay showed up I started to feel better. I moved to the passenger side and Jim and I took off for the hospital. After much walking around but not much waiting I left there with a hand brace and some Vicodin. The doc didn't seen anything on the xray except my fabulously intact bones so we were good to go. My hand is bruised and it's hard to use it but this morning it feels better.

SO! I can decorate for Halloween today! Jim is out doing the kid run and getting some Starbucks right now. When he gets back we'll spring into action. I think it's going to be a good one. Several musicians are going to be there so I think we'll have an excellent Bone Band going.

See you later!


Saturday, October 29, 2005


Took Dad to the VA yesterday to see Dr. Griffin. He's in the pink. I managed to sneak a quick word with her to let her know we didn't start Dad on the mood stabilizers. I didn't want that to be part of the conversation.

The reception people screwed up and made us wait an hour and a half past his appointment time. Grrrr....

Last night's band practice was good. It's the first time we've met since Amber quit. Things were ho-hum at first but then we started messing around with a bunch of 60's rock stuff (our roots) and that got us going. The evening ended well.

Today I went to Ramona and helped out at one of the snack bars during the big band tournament there. What a crappy day. I showed up ready to work and they treated me like I was a pain in the ass. And they wonder why they don't get enough parental involvement? They tried to make me feel guilty for taking a break after being on my feet for 4 hours making burritos. The woman in charge sent me on a wild goose chase for trash bags when she had them in the supply trailer the whole time (and she knew it). I was yelled at for daring to ask for paper bowls. The next time they call me for help someone's going to get an earful.

But I got to see RCC's field show. Lordy, they're good. Now I'm home and in my jammies. So, don't nobody ask me to do nuthin' 'cause I ain't gonna do it.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Jim's reunion.

The class of '75's reunion kicked the class of '74's reunion's butt.

It was held at Bill Wolfs' house in Palm Desert. Billy's done well for himself. This house is huge and gorgeous. We're talkin' at least a million bucks for this house. Bill is still Bill, just a sweetheart of a guy.

There was absolutely tons of food and it was all very good. Lots of beer, wine and frozen Margaritas. The dj played the music too loud, but they always do that. Bill has a big, beautiful yard (he has his own landscaping company) with a fabulous pool area and a batting cage. The pool has a fireplace and the patio next to the house has a fireplace. There's also an outdoor kitchen area and a bar.

It was fun catching up with people. I didn't recognize Sylvia Schuler, which was awful because 10 years ago she was one of the people we partied with for hours after the 20 year reunion. I felt like a dope.

Lance Croom was there. I went up and sat down next to him and his wife and said, "Lance, do you remember me?" He smiled and read my name tag and said no. I said, "Well you used to terrorize me in English class." He did, too. Made me cry one day. His wife started cracking up and wanted to hear all about it. We were all laughing and Lance was very apologetic. I was enjoying seeing him squirm. I said, "Funny how that stuff can come back and bite you in the ass, ain't it?" So, 30 years later I got an apology from Lance. Later on he and Jim were at the piano and Lance was singing. Golly, what a voice! I'm looking at this scene and thinking never in a million years would I have thought that I'd see my husband and Lance Croom sitting together having a great time.

Later Jim got into a long, deep discussion with Sylvia about religion. Kinda heavy for a party conversation but they enjoyed it.

We took a bunch of giftwrap and I spent some time rolling up 80 tubes for people to take home. Got lots of nice comments on it.

On one table they had the photos of all the people who had died. Bruce Hockett's was there, he died just last year. John Trujillo died in 98. I saw him at the last reunion. I was pretty sad about those two.

Bob, Julie, Michele, and Danny W. didn't make it this time. Bummer. We had a blast with them at the last one. The Mac Gregor twins were there. They looked great, especially Sue.

On the way home we hit some pretty nasty fog. It was scary there for a while. We got home around 2:30.

This was a good one. Bill kept saying the next one was going to be held here at the farm. I invited him over so he could see the barnyard for himself. He thinks we can get a crew over here to clean it up, no problem. I said just come over and see, then you'll know. There ain't gonna be no parties here no more. Besides, in 10 years this place will be gone. They're talking about having a reunion cruise in 5 years. I'm up for that!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Halloween's coming

But I just didn't have the spirit this year.

Usually, we get the Halloween stuff down on Oct.1st. This year we took it down 2 days ago. I usually decorate the living room, kitchen and bathroom. This year I put up a few lights in the living room and put up the skull porchlight.

I thought I could make some money decorating someone's Halloween party but I cheesed out on that one too.

We're going to do the usual thing at Kevin's. This time I'm going to triage everything and take only the essentials over there. That's a lot of stuff to haul. I might dress up and sit in the witch's chair and do some fortune telling. I think that would be fun. It's always more fun to interact with people.

Some day I really, really want to do a big, huge display someplace. Kevin's yard is small and a tad too precious for an elaborate display. We have all these really cool props for the witch but no good way to display them. I'd love to build her a spooky shack.

I'm going to search the barnyard for materials. Maybe we could do the shack this year. We have an awning frame that would work for a roof structure. All it needs is some posts for legs. Then I could cover it with some fabric that I have. Ok, Sunday I'll do the barnyard search.

Today we saw Goodnight, And Good Luck. Good, good movie.

Tomorrow we're going to Jim's 30th highschool reunion. I'll just bet it's going to be waaaaay more fun than mine was.

Monday, October 17, 2005

My first counseling session.

Just an interview, really. I'm not cured or anything.

She said I need to take time for myself. Actually, I already do that. She said we need to hire someone to come in and help Dad. No, we're not ready for that yet.

Hold on.

Well, waddaya know? Dad came over with a new notice from the DMV. It says he has to turn his license in. He can request a hearing but he'll need a note from his doc saying he's recovered. He knows that won't happen. At first he was talking about trying to get the license back but as the conversation went on he could see that it's futile. He actually dealt with it pretty calmly. We made an appointment for him to go to the DMV tomorrow morning and turn his license in and replace it with a CA ID.

We talked a little about transportation alternatives and this time he was ready to listen- a little. We also talked about tree season coming up and I reminded him about the conversation we all had some months back about having the family do all the selling, not hiring employees. He couldn't quite get that one through his head. He said Dusty has already called him and he was planning to have her work in the mornings. He's forgotten that we were all suspicious of Dusty, that she was stealing from him last year. I'm sure we'll get it straightened out. I don't want Dusty around here. Even if she's not stealing from Dad she's just plain icky.

So we do need to have a family meeting with Dad and discuss the tree season. He's thinking it's going to business as usual. He thinks he can handle it even though I reminded him about the payroll taxes and how much he was fined last year because of screw ups. He said, "Well, we won't have as many employees this year."

So, he still doesn't get it.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Burning stuff now.

This morning when I went to Dad's it smelled like someone had been smoking in his house. Almost smelled like pipe smoke. Dad was laying on the couch in the living room. I said, "Man, it smells like smoke in here." Dad said, "Yeah, that's what I thought when I woke up this morning." I looked around the kitchen and found a pot on the counter that was totally scorched with the remains of 3 tea bags in the bottom. The bags were completely black, almost ash.

He acted like it was no big deal and I didn't say anything about it. It would have started a big fight and I really didn't want to get into it. I remember when Nana started doing stuff like that. Maybe we should unhook his stove. Oops, stove broke. Disable the ovens, too. He's been using the lower one for storage and the controls for both are right next to each other. All he really needs is the microwave to warm his food and make a cup of tea.

He's still driving. He's going to do it as long as he can get away with it. I'm not willing to fight him on this. His next appointment with Dr. Griffin is on the 28th and I'm sure we'll talk about it then. But I think Drew will need to either take his car or disable it.

Smoke alarms. Better get some if he doesn't have them.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I took Dad to Costco today so he could stock up. If he has a full fridge maybe he won't go driving. We were going up and down the aisles and I was suggesting different things to him and he kept saying he didn't need anything. I finally got him going, though. He ended up buying some lunchmeat and some pre-cooked chicken, mixed nuts, some chicken bakes and small pizzas. I wanted to make sure he had enough protein available so he could add some to a salad or something.

Not a bad day. He was his usual foggy self this morning.

Going to Kaiser tomorrow for a boob check. Me, not him.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Maybe it's starting to sink in.

When I went to Dad's this morning he was confused and very subdued. When we were done with the process of doing eye drops, testing his blood and taking his medication he totally forgot we had done it and tried to start it all over again. He said he's so tired of taking all these pills. I told him that he needs every one of them. He said he'd like to stop taking them all and just let his body do whatever it will do without them. I explained why it's important for him to have them and he let it drop.

We talked about his driving and losing his license and again he said it was just like dying. I told him yes, it's a loss but it's not like dying. He'll just have to do what everybody does when that happens. He'll just have to adjust. We'll all adjust because that's what families do. I explained again that he can afford to take a cab since he won't be paying for gas, insurance and upkeep on a car. He listened for a while and then changed the subject.

When I was leaving he started talking about how it's all so useless. Asked him what he meant. He didn't answer, he just sat down and shook his head. He's pretty defeated. He said something about being at Drew's yesterday and having Drew help him with the driver's test. I guess Drew was quizzing him and he didn't do very well. I don't know because he wasn't really using complete sentences. Then he started going on about letting the whole thing go and he'll keep driving until his license expires. I told him he won't be insured (we've been through this one several times) and if he gets into an accident he could be in big trouble. He said no one will know because on his license it says it's valid until his birthday in February. He said his insurance company won't know unless someone tells them. He said he wished he hadn't signed the DMV papers. I told him all that doesn't matter, that he's in the system and all those different agencies already know what's going on. His driver's license will be invalid no matter what it says on the card. I guess he started to get overwhelmed because he ended the conversation and went back into the house.

He seemed to be more willing to listen to what I had to say. He's doing that different stages of death thing and right now he's in the negotiating phase. I told him it would probably be good for him to try to accept it because it's going to happen anyway. I told him he can deal with it because he's a strong man and together we'll all find a way to make it work. So, we may have gotten over a hump here. Or tomorrow he could be back to spitting fire again.

Tomorrow we're going to see the orthopedic surgeon about his elbow. It's swollen again this morning. We'll discuss what they found on the scan.

And so it goes.

Friday, October 07, 2005

A very bad morning.

When I got to Dad's this morning he was in his office going over all the DMV stuff. He had the copies of the replacement forms that the DMV sent to me. He also had a new driver's license application that he must have gotten from the DMV. He thought they had sent it to him. Anyway, he was very messed up, very angry and very wild-eyed.

I stayed calm and didn't engage him. I tried a couple times to explain everything to him but I had to give up. Nothing was sinking in. Accusations flew. He thinks we're all making a big deal about his Alzheimer's and we're doing it because we're trying to kill him. He's studying the DMV book so he can go in there and get an A on the test. He demanded that I give him copies of everything we have on the computer. I told him we've already given him copies of everything and he basically accused me of lying to him because he doesn't have those copies. There's no way I could tell him that he must have lost them. Before I could say it he started yelling about how he never loses things. He accused Stacey and Drew of conspiring against him. I told him I'd like to tell him the truth about what's going on and he cut me off and told me he'd rather hear a lie.

I told him he should call Dede and talk to her. I told him he should talk to David. That pretty much went right by, I think because somehow he knows they'll tell him the same thing I've been trying to tell him. He said he wants a family meeting this weekend so he can tell all of us to stop talking about him and doing things behind his back. He thinks we're the ones who are trying to take his license away. Nothing I said this morning got through.

He said he's going to take the copies of the DMV forms and the driver's license application and go down to the DMV and get this straightened out. I didn't even try to tell him not to do that. I just hope that someday I'll get to see the security video. If he goes down there and starts throwing his weight around I bet he'll get arrested.

Dr. Griffin is supposed to call me sometime today. She called yesterday when we weren't home. I reeeeeally need to talk to her.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Running around.

Today I ran 3 errands and each one took a long time to do. I drove to Loma Linda to drop off Dad's DMV form. His doctor has to sign it off or they'll suspend his license. I don't think she will. Even if she does he'll still have to take both tests at the DMV. Right now he's studying them. I suppose it's possible that he could pass. But see, the other day he picked up his glucose test kit and asked me what it was. How's he going to take a written test?

My second errand was to go to City Hall and get my ticket taken care of. I got pulled over the other day for speeding. I wasn't going as fast as he said I was but he didn't give me the ticket for that so I can't really complain. No, he gave me a ticket to get my address changed on my driver's license. Just a pain-in-the-ass fixit ticket. Ten bucks. Had to stand in a long, slow line for that one.

Then I had lunch at Simple Simon's. I love their Gazspacho.

Then I went to the DMV to drop off the registration paperwork for Dad's new car. At least there you can sit down. Right between the crying child and the guy with b.o. Actually, it wasn't that bad. Just took a long time.

This is complaining. I know that. I feel like complaining.

We've had a lot of days like this lately. Today I also went to Dad's to put in eye drops, test his blood and watch him take his meds. Later he came over and had Jim print out (for the second time) some stuff that Dad already had but didn't need anyway, that he lost. This is when he gets demanding. Throw in a few phone calls (from Dad) and you've got a day.

I did manage to do some file sorting this morning. I'm glad I didn't totally skip a day with the GTD project. I'm working on the first big box and I'm finding that most of it is so old I can just throw it away. Me like.

Tomorrow Dad is going to the VA for another x-ray. I don't know why they need it, his elbow isn't bothering him at the moment.


Monday, October 03, 2005

On the verge of change

At least I hope so.

So many things have happened in the last two weeks that I haven't blogged about. Some are things I didn't want to share around so I've kept them from this public forum. It's all becoming a blur anyway so I'm not going to revisit all of it. But I've been doing a lot of thinking about what my next move should be. I'm looking for the first action I can take that will get things moving in a positive direction.

It's been a very difficult 2 weeks.

But I'm ready to do something about it. I want to see about joining an AD support group. It's time. They have them at Kaiser. I'm also seriously thinking of getting some counseling (for the first time in my life). Tomorrow we're starting the GTD project. If my house is less chaotic it will help me handle all that other stuff better.

I think those are 3 good steps.