The situation with Mike’s mother has gotten much worse. I don’t know how she is hanging on and still alive. When we went over there Monday the situation was so grim. She can’t use the left side of her body. She can’t lift her head. She can barely speak a whispery word or two. Her face is all sunken in. She looks way worse than my mother did when she died. It brings back all these horrible memories for me. Annette is in no pain at all. I couldn’t go over there yesterday. Mike went without me. I pray she passes over soon. It’s so terribly sad. It’s like some huge death cloud hanging over.
Wednesday, November 29
It’s 7:18am on Wednesday. Wednesday is trash day. We’ve gathered all the trash and recycling and taken the cans out to the curb. I’m drinking hot chocolate. Later today I’m supposed to go to a neighbor ladies lunch. I don’t feel like going.
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.
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.
Thursday, February 16
Saturday, February 4
I’ve had a bad cold for a couple days and have stayed home. I’m not back to normal yet but am better than yesterday. I slept better. I’m glad it’s about gone.
Yesterday I had to go to the hospital and get another echocardiogram to compare to the one from September ( right after the heart attack). It had improved significantly. I haven’t heard from the cardiologist yet. I have to get done with this cold and get back to the gym.
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.
Friday, January 27
It’s a typical January day. We were coming home a while ago and the snow was coming down so hard we could barely see in front of us. We went to the lodge here at Sun City earlier. I had intended to work out on the fitness machines but there was a whole bunch of people in there and the machines I had intended to use were already taken so I worked out in the pool then I went in the hot tub and sauna with Mike. It was nice. I haven’t been working out in the pool the last couple months ( due to rehab) and I can really feel it in my muscles now. I have to be dedicated to working out daily now that rehab is over. It’s a new start for my health.
I just played my clarinet for a bit but I’m really tired so didn’t play very long. In a little while I’ll start cooking dinner. I just ate a handful of walnuts to curb my hunger. I had a little bit of oatmeal for breakfast. I finally got Mike to agree to go on another cruise so we’re going next year in May. It’s a long way away but hopefully by then we’ll both be healthier and he’ll be over his germ phobia. He’s always afraid I’m going to catch something. I’m going to start subbing again next Monday now that rehab is over. Mike is nervous about that too- me being exposed to school germs again. I’m not subbing younger than 4th grade and no special ed- too much hands on with those kids. There’s so much going on from now until the end of May that I had to double check the dates before I accepted jobs. It’s good to be busy physically, cognitively, socially.
I may go downstate to see and visit with an old friend next week - who I haven’t seen in years. I hope it works out. It will be kind of surreal and weird after all this time. We shall see. It’s good to reconnect. I tend to be very sensitive and emotional. I get drippy about things that most people don’t.
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!