Saturday, November 18
Mike’s mom is being released from the hospital this afternoon and will be going home to a hospital bed, hospice care and a full-time caregiver. She’s 85 has stage 4 lung cancer and a brain tumor bleed that is inoperable. Mike has been at the hospital with her about 14 hours a day the last several days. It’s just a matter of time with her and the goal is to keep her as comfortable as possible. They have a very large family so Mike has a constant stream of calls and texts since he is the power of attorney. This has been going on for months but it’s ramped way up the last couple weeks since his mom has gotten so bad.
Saturday, March 25
The wet fluffy snow looks beautiful and magical, clinging in to the tree branches I see through the window. . I had a wonderful sleep last night after getting up early all week. It’s nice to have a couple days now when I have nothing I have to do. Time to recharge.
I was supposed to go to Lola’s soccer game in Canton this morning but the weather didn’t cooperate. The drive might have been okay but I didn’t want to chance it. They canceled this morning anyway. I’m going down there for a few days in two weeks. That will have to do for family visits. There are birthdays and Easter coming up. I have to go get cards today for those occasions. Milo is turning 13, Sarah 35, Hennessy 9 plus all 12 grandkids will get Easter cards with money. Money instead of candy or stuffed toys, of course.
There are quite a few things to be tended to. I’ll get stared later. I need to return an email but I need to reread it a couple times and chew on it awhile before responding. I need to confirm some dates and update our neighborhood calendar. I’m involved in too many groups and am taking a break from one for a couple months. An introvert, I get overloaded and overly stimulated and have to slink back into my cave for a while and recharge. I’m 63 now and I get sick of peoples’ bullshit. Pretentious people and pushy control freaks are the worse for me. It’s hard to bite my tongue so I mostly tend to sidestep and avoid those types.
I had planned to paint my bathroom cabinet some new perky color when spring came but then decided to just clean it really well, get new hardware. Sand it really good and apply clear poly coat. . My bathroom has been cleared out and in limbo the last week as I’ve been going to work every day and couldn’t get to it. Finally this morning I sanded again for the third time, wiped everything down really well and applied the first clear coat. I’ll let it dry and apply another tomorrow. Hopefully by Monday I can put stuff back and have my bathroom back in order.
I did two loads of laundry, cooked breakfast and cleaned up the kitchen, washed down all the plantation blinds in our bedroom and gave Bitzi her medicine. She’s having gut problems again for some reason. I thought she was better but during the night she had to go out a couple times and even had an accident in the laundry room on the rug.
Mike is spending more and more time helping and dealing with his mom as she struggles with depression, anxiety, her cancer and increasing dementia and forgetfulness. Now that Mike is retired that’s his job- trying to take care of her. At least he has his sister and two brothers and they all get along. That makes it a bit better.
I’ve been subbing again the last couple weeks. I also am a neighborhood rep and schedule and organize frequent events. I’m also the vice chair of our lifelong learning lectures committee. I help locate and schedule the speakers our community hosts every Friday. I’m also in our community concert band, chorus and garden club and a couple sub committees too. Our community is a 55+ active adult community of around 10,000 with a larger community of approximately 35,000. I’m around a lot of old people these days in our community at the various functions. Most ,but not all, are older than me. Many are pretty conservative, religious and stodgy. I sometimes encounter residents who seem to think they are entitled to behave poorly and rudely due to their wealth, age or the number of years they’ve been living here. I’ve noticed a lot of the older people keep to the little cliches and aren’t very friendly. When the neighborhood women meet for lunch or dinner the topic is usually aches, pains, surgeries or medications. I try to avoid talking religion, politics are using my normal salty language. I’m not sure what the men talk about. It appears to me there’s a lot of rambling on and on.
Thursday, March 2
It’s late afternoon. I just took the dog for another walk. I have low energy from all this coughing and my nose running.
I got my video made and sent off to the employer. I haven’t heard anything yet. I’m staying positive. At least I’m blessed to be alive. I’m blessed in so many ways.
Tuesday, February 28
Good morning. I’m drinking my coffee and trying to wake up. I’m subbing at middle schools the next three days. I’m hoping things go smoothly. I’m trying to earn extra money as I’m wanting to go on a couple cruises and Mike is dragging his feet to go along with them. I’ve already booked one but there’s a Panama Canal cruise I want too book too. I also have a new job offer that’s somewhat promising. I’m pretty much thinking I don’t want a full-time job but we’ll see how it proceeds and how much is offered. If it’s not enough to make it worth my time I’ll just politely decline. It is good and a bit exciting to be considered though. I have to produce a video of myself and submit it by the end of the day Saturday.
Over the weekend I drove down and saw the kids. Hennessy, Oscar and Arlo stayed over night with me Saturday. It was good to see everybody. The kids will have sporting events and concerts coming up this spring. If I get the new job I probably can’t take off for a lot of things. If I just continue to sub I can pick and choose my own work days and what schools and ages I want. The new job would be right here in Sun City though, less than a mile away and not involve kid germs- very important to me.
Wednesday, February 22
I took a couple containers of beef & barley soup out of the freezer and have it warming on the stove in a big pot. It’s about 3:30 in the afternoon. I can hear the wind whistling and the sleet hitting the front window. I was supposed to sub today but canceled it last night after hearing the predicted ice storm on the news. I’m subbing at a different school tomorrow but the weather should be better.
Friday, February 17
Happy Friday. I’m going to the pool in a bit. The Sun is shining and melting the snow from yesterday.
Now I’m back from the pool. I worked out with the foam dumbbells and did a bunch of leg lifts and ab crunches. I soaked in the hot tub for a while, steamed in the sauna and took a nice long shower. I feel good.
Tuesday, February 14
It’s early afternoon. I had a neighbor ladies’ group breakfast this morning at a nearby cafe. It was a nice time. It’s chillier out today, overcast and starting to rain. Being February I can’t really complain. I sill am feeling symptoms of the cold I’ve had for two weeks.
Wednesday, February 8
Tuesday, January 31
Good day. The sun is shining brightly on the frigid land outside. It’s much better than overcast gloom, even if it is terrible cold. Also, the wind isn’t blowing so that helps, too. I just did a nice water aerobics class at the lodge. It felt good. Afterward I showered and blew my hair dry. Mike took Bitzi to the groomer. She looks nice. She’s always really tired the rest of the day after grooming for some reason. In a couple hours I’m going to Culver’s because it’s neighbor ladies ice cream social day. We just meet up at 2 o’clock, order whatever we want, push tables together and sit and visit. It’s nice and casual. Some people stay a little while, some people stay a long time. Whatever works. I’m probably going back to the lodge to work out later. The pool class was fun but it wasn’t hard cardio like I’m supposed to be doing. I subbed yesterday and had to walk a lot so was too tired to go to the gym last night. Mike is going to the dentist in a while. He hasn’t been to a dentist in a long time and he’s going to a new dentist today.
My body is starting to feel different with all this extra exercise the last few months. My legs, thighs, abs and back are starting to feel firmer and more solid. I know I’m building muscle. I’ve lost some weight but not a lot. All in good time. Baby steps………..If you build it, they will come…..I have much been endurance and strength than a couple months ago, that’s for sure.
Saturday, January 28
Good morning. I’ve been awake for around an hour. I’ve read the morning papers, emails and social media feeds. I’ve saved a couple goji berry recipes to try and I’m finishing my coffee. Last night was a really good long sleep. I went to bed early. Yesterday I worked out in the pool and then in the evening used my exercise ball for a long time. This morning my muscles are reminding me they weren’t used to working like that.
This morning later I’m meeting a retired teacher friend for breakfast. We haven’t met to talk since November so there’ll be some good catching up. After that I have to walk my dog then go to the gym to work out. I have a new book I’ve started and I have music practice to do. Tomorrow we’re going to Aiden’s second birthday party in the afternoon so that should be nice.
I need to get going and tidy up around here, get dressed and take Bitzi out to pee. She’s curled up next to me on the couch keeping me warm and seems content for now. I love the snowy views out the windows. I love when things get magically coated with white, especially the trees. There is something noble about winer to me.
Yesterday in the pool I briefly floated on my back looking up at the skylights and it was wonderful and spiritual and I felt blessed to be alive. I had the tingly spiritual experience and a warm light washed over me. I hadn’t been to the pool in many weeks. I need to go more frequently. Obviously it has some intense recharging effect on me. Just keep swimming…
Last night I went to bed early because I was mad at Mike and thought he was being a mean grouch ass. It does me no good to try to challenge him or reason with him. He is always right. He always ping pongs my words back at me. The best strategy is always just to go silent and remove myself from the situation. I know he’s dealing with a lot with his mothers cancer now being untreatable. I get it. But I will not be talked to like that by anyone for any reason. What you allow will continue. Silence is often the best response. Silence says so much more than words most times.
Monday, January 23
It’s morning coffee time. In a few minutes I’ll go get dressed, take the dog out to pee and go to cardiac rehab at the hospital campus. I only have four days this week and I’m done completely on Thursday. Friday I’m subbing after having taken a break since early September. After I get back home from rehab I’m riding along with Michael to go to St.Charles and take his mom to Bloomingdale for her CT scan and brain MRI. The doctor had stopped her chemo weeks ago as her cancer had progressed. The only option left is stronger chemo and she is already depressed, angry, exhausted and has increasing bouts of memory loss. Mike is her power of attorney and the situation has been really draining on him. He is just recently over Covid and I can tell he’s still very tired from it. So I’m going along to help support them both. I’d better get going. More later.
4:20. We’ve been home for a while and I took Bitzi for a brisk walk around the lagoon just now. We got the results of Mike’s mom’s scans she had this morning. The news isn’t good. The cancer in her lung and brain are growing. Mike and his mom have a phone appointment with her oncologist Wednesday morning to talk about it. Mike has been trying to reach his siblings to talk about this. I feel bad for all of them. I’ve been through it with my mom and myself and is just awful. I can’t even imagine how on earth I’m still alive. I’ve always known there are angels watching over and helping me. No kidding. I just hope there are angels for Annette too.
I’m reading this book now. It’s pretty good. It actually makes a lot of sense if you can get past the adolescent humor and redundancy. Basically a good read.
After the scans and taking Annette home we stopped at Portillo in Elgin for lunch. I know I sound like some old dried up codger but I cannot believe how expensive everything is now. It’s crazy! I brought most of my Italian beef home. It will be good tomorrow.
Saturday, January 21
It’s Saturday morning. I had a great night’s sleep and made a couple waffles with the end of the mix in the Bisquick box. When they were done I sprinkled the three waffles with a little powdered sugar. On my small waffle I put peanut butter, some mixed berries and a drizzle of syrup. It was perfect with my coffee. I tidied up the house a bit and then took Bitzi on a 1.7 mile brisk walk. Being January in northern Illinois, it’s pretty cold out. I wore a heavier coat with a separate hat, my gloves and my fuzzy hood up most of the time but started sweating after about 20 minutes and took my hood off for a while but then put it back on at the end. Bitzi is so small but she does okay on our walks. She has lots of energy! She of course wants to stop and sniff and do her mini pees a million times. She has really helped get me walking more though. Dog walking, the heart attack and cardiac rehab have really got me much more physically active.
I have four more sessions to go and then I “graduate” from cardiac rehab. It’s been a very good experience. It’s a bit embarrassing that it took a friggin heart attack to wake me up and get me moving toward a healthier lifestyle but now I’m very grateful to be doing better and feeling better. The daily vigorous ( aka panting hard and sweating) exercise is really improving my life. I don’t know it for a fact but I feel like my immune system is getting stronger too. I’m amazed that Mike just got over covid and I didn’t get it being right here in the house with him. Normally I catch everything.
This is the time of year I like the least due to the prolonged days of dreary, overcast skies. I think of it as the “bucket of suck” season from mid January until the end of March. YUCK. I don’t really mind the cold or snow, just the gloomy skies. I still try to spend time outside in the fresh air every day. I have a lot of houseplants to tend, that gives me some sense of nature and growing.
I just lost a lot of my text. This stupid keyboard is driving me crazy with it's jumping all over. Gaaaaaaah!
Monday, January 16
I’m sipping my coffee in the partial dark sitting on the couch in the living room. Mike and I both slept out here in recliners last night. I was coughing and draining really bad Saturday night and barely got any sleep. Mike has Covid and has bad coughing attacks too. Somehow my Covid tests have been negative. I have to go to another cardiac rehab session in a little over an hour. I have all this week and four days next week and then I’m done. I have to call and schedule an echocardiogram today to see if my heart squeezing capacity has improved. It was lowered due to my heart attack in September and I’m hoping it has recovered and improved. Fingers crossed.
My little grandson Oliver ( 18 months old) is sick with a bad ear infection. Poor little kid. He’s on medicine now and I sure hope it clears him up quick and he feels better. It’s so hard on everyone in the house when a little one is sick. One of my other grandsons, Waylon, is twelve today. It’s crazy how these kids are growing so fast. At times it seems a little surreal that we have twelve grandchildren. Wait- how can I possibly be this old? How did this happen in the blink of an eye?
Mike is sleeping siting up at the end of the couch. I can hear his relaxed breathing sounds and very faint snoring. The dog is sitting on my lap. I just fed her when I made my coffee. Her stomach is making loud squishy gurgling sounds. I’ll take her out to pee in a while before I leave for rehab. There are a couple patients a rehab who are younger than me. There is another woman but mos are older men. There are also pulmonary rehab patients there on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those patients have portable oxygen tanks they pull around with them to the exercise machines. There are a couple twig people who are frighteningly emancipated who can only exercise for 8 minutes at a time and have to stop and check their blood sugars. I am certainly not the most I’ll person there. It’s been a learning, growing, useful experience, for sure. I’m going to actually miss it when I’m done and will have to continue the daily workouts on my own. That will be the challenge to keep it up.
My resolution for the year is to be more positive in all things with all people. I have this snarky negative cynical critical defensive troll inside my brain that causes me anxiety and prevents me from finding joy. I’m trying to allow my positive self to simply step in front of her and quiet her down. I am moving toward being a more positive and confident woman - but not one of those dreadfully pushy broads that drive me crazy. I want to never stop improving and learning and trying. If you do you just dry up and die.
Gotta go. More later.
Sunday, January 15
It’s about noon on a Sunday. I’m doing a couple loads of laundry. I can hear the dryer humming away. I like doing laundry and making things clean and fresh.I took Bitzi out for a shor walk. It’s abrasively cold with the wind. I will take her for a longer walk later.
We had leftovers for lunch. I practiced my clarinet for a while and test drove several reeds. The laundry is done. I’m reading a book on my kindle app. Somewhat interesting and I’ll continue. I have 9 more sessions of cardiac rehab left. I have a neighborhood ladies lunch Tuesday. Mike has Covid. I’m negative. I’m not sure how that works.
Thursday, January 5
Thank you for being here. It means a lot to me.
I do believe in continuing to learn and improve every day. My resolution is to be more positive about everything and everyone. I’m trying really hard to mute the snarky bitch and negative Nellie who lives in my brain. I already have the habit of being grateful for every day for all my blessings but I still need to be a lot better and I’m trying. I need to be a lot tougher and less sensitive. I need to ba an armadillo and not let things get to me. Who knows how long we have left? Over the holidays there have been two family members and three acquaintances die.shit is getting real.