Monday, August 24, 2009

For Emmett

I'll be posting other pictures from this summer later, but I need to let Emmett see our home-made D&D set up John and Molly created while we were in Northern California.
I think my sorceress name was Mallorian. Note evil blue pig on right.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I have a lot to be thankful for

Or: How I spent my summer vacation
It's a bit ironic that my previous post was about how cool my mom is. The day after the last day of work, I received a call from my Stepfather/uncle. He was worried that he hadn't been able to raise my mom by phone. She has been living in Pomona (near LA) and he is in Maryland. I had him call the police & got in my car. By the time I got there, the police had come & gone, saying they could hear her inside but she didn't give them permission to enter. I tried to break the door - it looks so easy on TV - but ended up having to get the neighbor to help me crawl through the window.
Mom had been laying on the floor for at least twelve hours, semi unconscious. I called 911. At the hospital they diagnosed acute diverticulitis and a very bad bladder infection. I stayed at her house and took care of her ailing little dog (some of you know that story) for the rest of the week. Her house... I can't go into it, even now. Suffice it to say, it the dictionary under 'hoarder' is a picture of that house (Two story, 5 bedroom craftsman). The only place I could sleep was the couch.
The care at the hospital was spotty. Twice they gave her the wrong meds and once they neglected to do an important test. She doesn't remember even being there. I was wondering if she would be able to think clearly again.
But I am lucky. Our friend and md, John Dodge, recommended a nursing home in La Jolla, so I checked her out and brought her there. She stayed for a week, getting better and more lucid. At the end of the week, she wanted to come to my house. We got her a walker and some gear for the shower, etc.. A physical therapist came twice a week for awhile. She needed a lot of help, but luckily, I was off school and could focus on her pretty well.
I was determined to get her a new doctor. I wanted a gerontologist who would know what is normal aging and what needs to be fixed. Once again, I was lucky enough to have as a friend, Lisa Snyder, a researcher and social worker at the Alzheimer's Center at UCSD. She recommended the best old people's doc: Victor Legner. Dr. Legner set up lots of tests for a head to toe check up.
Months ago, Bill and I had planned a trip to Mexico, to San Miguel de Allende, for the second week in July. Fortunately, my dear friends CJ, Don, and especially, Molly took care of mom while we were gone. We had the best time ever! Really, for both of us, it was literally the best vacation we have ever had. I'll post photos later.
When we returned, mom was feeling somewhat better and we began to talk about her future. Many of you know, I have 2 bedrooms. We have been juggling beds and the couch all summer. I want mom to get an apartment here, in San Diego. Uncle StepDad wants her to return to Maryland (he is 92). She wants to go back to Pomona and "Fix up her house." So, this week, I am going to take her up there for a trial run. Her next door neighbor has a helper who will clean up and make her dinner (she is resisting this a bit). My stepdaduncle is planning on flying out. She agrees that if she can't do all she needs, that we will get her a place down here, at least temporarily. I am hoping if this happens, that we'll be able to move her within the next two weeks, before I have to be back at work.
I am a little worn out. This week, Bill has been the sickest I've ever seen him (with the stomach flu), so I have been sleeping over there in Johnny's room, to be available if he needs me. Last week, I took John and Molly to Northern Ca to check out some colleges she wanted to visit. We had a great trip, but it was a long drive.
I am thankful my mom is alive and kicking.
I am thankful to have such a great partner and wonderful children.
I am thankful for my extended family: CJ and Don. What would I do without them?
I am thankful that the profession of teaching has maintained the tradition of allowing teachers to have time to take care of the rest of their lives in between taking care of their students. And I'm glad this all happened in the summer.
I am thankful to have so many generous friends with great connections.
And I'm thankful that this summer is almost over.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I know everyone thinks their mother is the best (except for those who don't), but my mother is really hard to beat.
For Mother's Day, my kinders wrote things they like about their moms. Here are mine:
1. Absolutely no one con make me laugh as hard as Mama. Tears run down my face and I loose the power of speech. Now Molly has joined the joke fest & we ALL roll around gasping for air.
2. She really does make the best fried chicken. Also cornbread. I've been following her recipe for years and hers is still way better than mine.
3. In my mamas eyes, I do nothing wrong. If I became an axe murderer, she would say, "Those people must have needed to be axe-murdered." This made my teen years a hoot.
4. She would give me (and has) the shirt off her back. I have to be careful when I complement her on something she is wearing, or she will give it to me. I say, "I like that ON YOU."
5. She is a fabulous Grama, possibly Molly's best friend. I do appreciate this, though it is hard sometimes - they have a tendency to gang up on me.
There are so many more. Most of the good qualities I have, the appreciations for the good things in life, were taught to me by my Mama. She's still teaching me to enjoy life. I hope she never stops.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Two hours east

The desert sure is pretty right now. Some friends and I went to Domelands, on the eastern edge of Anzo Borrego, on BLM land. We went there so we could take the dogs. We had a great hike up to some wind caves (I'm partial to caves). Molly took most of the photos. Unsurprisingly, she has a great eye for composition.
It was so peaceful & relaxing & fun to be with friends I don't see often enough. Can't wait till next time.