It means nothing to me...... oooooo

Trying to explain *why* it is that I cannot continue in the role of Treasurer in my not-for-profit group. I was struggling. Not only did I continually refer to myself as the Secretary, much to the shock of the Secretary, I could not express myself in a way that made sense to the shocked group whom I had just presented my budget to.

"It's not that I don't have the time. It is more that time means nothing to me."

uhm..... Honey girlfriend, yeah you in the mirror: You gotta speak the language of the Natives to be understood.

I got the shocked puppydog looks the HOW COULD YOU BETRAY US AT THE LAST MOMENT looks the ohno, what now looks and I caved. One more year of it.

I have to admit my shit:
I am more than capable of it. Of course and doh math savant.... control freak... I have all the best traits for being a financial auditor.
I am just lazy. And so guarded about MY time.

I now have to schedule in a weekly block of bookwork.
It isn't even that big a deal unless of course you don't do it for 6 months.

God has called me on so many of my poor traits.
This is the year he is asking me to jettison the lying and using grey trues.
I hate it. I say I want to be a better person and so many times it really means I want *you* to be a better person to make my life more comfortable. God says to me no no sweet pretender, I asked you to do it.

Me and God talk alot.
Sometimes it is just me to God asking all the big questions.
Like: Whats up with the patriarchal Churches in your name?
Where is the Feminine Divine?
Why do you allow war and suffering?
Why are the rich allowed to persist in their oppressiveness?

Bookkeeping doesn't come up much between us.

I know I have to get it together. I know it.

Do I think I am a divinely appointed bookkeeper? naaaah.... that delusion would get me out of alot of accountability. I know I am working on letting go the need to justify my bad thoughts and behaviours and covertly and very intelligently blaming others for it.

I have to become a Second Peter person and get to that place where I can become a person who can say and mean it: "God is their judge', while reemembering God gave me a double helping of many things other people cannot fathom. God doesn't want me to say: "oh Lord I am so talented. Please help me to relax into that and I need more laying around the house time" but God does want me to just go with it. And relinquish control.


My family of birth all 4 siblings in my pack are control freaks.
Not merely controllers.
We are world calibre in our ways.

One is letting go of all the unnecessary crap more easily than the other 3.

Next in line struggles with blaming and shaming in an effort to not have to say or admit that when others don't puppet her wishes she gets very angry.

One sees it in others and knows it to reflect her inner values and the last just keeps himself busy and busier.

Oh and number 5 the founder of we fools, is busy picking up little bits of fluff off from his floor in case they might be seen. Housekeeping is very important. Exteriors you know.

The worst of us is up blogging at 6am on her day off.
What on earth can I do to show her how to let go let it go let it allllll go and let God be in charge?

The spirit is willing.
The flesh, is deliciously weak. That's the way we all fall down.


The Elegant One.

One of my Lady clients is the epitome of elegance.
She is also the epitome of diminishing cognitive function but she is unaware of that fact.
We just try to keep her safe in her home, and as her family is very involved and assessible, it is not a difficult job. We do not do very much in there expect keep her medications on time, and try to get her to eat. Being a very slender lady, this is more important that in many homes, where a meal or 2 left uneaten would not be a crisis. We have not yet found the right person to be her shower girl, but perhaps in time that will come. Or not. My money is on NOT.

I enjoy my time with her very much, although I merely do meds there and try to slip in the occasional nicely turned out luncheon plate. I am more successful than most with that, as I make it look like it came from the kitchens of a swank Montreal deli. And she is always delighted and eats it as she tells me, sometimes in French, one of her stories. She has around 25 of them that she shuffles, but they are all good ones. Sometimes I can coax a new one out of her if I am wearing a good ring or a fancy uniform. Because the day I see her I have *zero* personal care, blood, urine or anything else tasks, I wear one of my nicer outfits.

I am still rather fond of clothes and even though 9 out of 10 workdays I wear a uniform, I can choose from 25 different smocks and jackets and 8 different pants. I wear one of 20 different knit singlets underneath and still wear my gold sovereign on a chain. A beautiful thick chain that I got from my former boss for spot plus $3.00 per gram. (mmm) I am sure many of the staff at all levels think I believe myself to be a Princess. They are almost right. I am the Queen. No need to bow though. My domain is solely the world within, and those who come to my domicile. I am not interested in extended my realm farther. I do, however, tend to elicit comments from people along the lines of:

"She is very capable. VERY." (that within my hearing. I suspect it gets altered elsewhere).

"Ah, the one with the rings." (unfair, I only wear an emerald flat bandand a diamond flat band, and two pinkie rings that are gold bands. Nothing that could catch on skin and I remove them all during care.)

And my favourite:
"Ah the entertainer. She shouldd have been on stage." (Very fair and yeah baby, all day every day thank you!)
That's the polite version.
I also get the "She thinks she knows everything because she took all those extra courses and got some stupid award" people, and hey that's all right too. They know that I DO KNOW everything pertinent to what I am undertaking but they don't know that it is an art and enterprise to stay current and informed and up to date and when I don't know something I make it my business to learn it. I am very teachable andd very interested in improving.
And my time in the other world of private enterprise swimming with barracudas gave me that. I can take correction well. Because I know I have the ability to learn and change.

I also have great confidence in my discernment.
That is not mine. It is something God lent to me. It is God in me. It is a gift.
That gift makes the difference between good and great.
That gift makes me invaluable in certain key situations.
And it is where we come back to the Elegant Lady.

She is changing; but just slightly.
I see it because she tells me her stories of the times she defines who she is by.
And yesterday, for the very first time, she repeated herself 4 times in our hour, and was completly unaware of it. She had not had a tasty alcoholic beverage. She had not yet taken her meds. She was wide awake and in no serious pain. It is a change.

The good thing is that I am confident that she will retain that elegance even as her abilities decrease. She may deteriorate to where she is no longer safe to be at home even with great family involvement but she will be unsafe with her hair coiffed and a silk scarf on.

I love her to bits.


"There was a time, dear... and you were so very pretty."

Started my day, much to my consternation, with another new-to-me client.
This was because his condition is now imminently palliative.
He was a charming gracious gentleman who informed me he needed nothing at all today thank you very much. Now, being possessed of the ability to be charming and gracious myself when I so choose, I asked him, after a few nicie nices to come on along to the other rooms where we could do our job. He came on along.

This man is my father's age, yet looks so very much younger. He told me he had lost 60 pounds since becoming ill and I told him he must have been a very dangerous man to the ladies.

"Yes. I have been married 4 times."

The home was on one of our villages most elegant streets with that view, that incredible view that only now non-Island residents are catching on about and driving prices from what was the upper $200,000 range on that street to the 1 million dollar range. As we shuffled on down to the main bedroom and adjoining bath, we passed pictures of happier times. Most of these pictures were on large sailboats. We also passed his wife, who was obviously impervious to my charm, as she was married to my male counterpart in that area.

"You going to be okay dear?" She asked ever so subtley.
"I don't know." He said and winked at me. Or rather in my direction as I know he is legally blind now.
"IS everything all right?" She said cautiously.
"I don't know..." He paused for a moment.
"Do you think we can trust her (me) to be alone with me?"
His wife laughed.
She leaned in a pinched his cheek.
"Oh I think we can. But there was a day, dear, there was a time."
She looked at him with love shining out of those eyes.
"He likes the ladies. And BOY how they liked him."
She turned and said loudly and in hiss obvious directionnn:
"There was a time dear... and you were so very pretty."

I obliged by looking at a picture we were passing, and saying:
"Especially with that Jesus hair blowing in the wind."

We concluded all the necessaries to the backdrop of him telling me the story of his life in a Reader's Digest condensed version. It was a story of loss and triumph, adherence to a strong belief in social justice and consequences thereof when governments change.
Mostly, it was the story of a very good man, who even drugged to a level most would become indiscreet at, was still fair and kind and merely trying to communicate to another human being that his life was well-lived, if too short. He thought he had more time.

I am the alternate in there so I shan't see him more than twice a week.
It won't be long that I know him. And very possibly this week I shall find him in bed and unable to speak. Or next week. But for now I shall savour the experience of linking up to another great spirit on this road we travel.

Well met Sir. Well met.



Tired but delighted

Happy Birthday Eldest sister.
Oh blessed hands.

I am soooooo tired today.
Naturally my cunning plan to sleep until 11 came not to fruition.
I was awake at 5. I lazed about until 8. And then took my doggiekins to the park for a long long run.

We had birthday lunch today.
New potatoes, spinach and cheese pasties, turnip parsnip and carrot medley, caesar salad and some tasty and delicious almond tarts, served with pelines and cream.
YUMMY it was good.
I love cooking.

And now we are off again to the park to see if we can get the little guy to use his injured leg.
Our parent is safely off having dinner at friends. Egad, he drove.
*crosses fingers*

I am t-i-r-e-d!

The Madness of Event Planning

Sometimes you just have to eat it.
And pretend to enjoy it.

Tonight was the first of 3 fundraising events for the Dance Group.
You want to have funds dispersed to your dancer you have to participate in a visible way.
I chose Kitchen as I have my FoodSafe course. I volunteered my ex-hubbie too.
He has his Course as well as incredible skill as a High-End waiter.
Amazing, aint it?

I also said I would make up the list of sponsors *if* I could do it on Thursday as Friday is a little too close to event time and I like to rest up for things where I know I have to expend energies I do not have in the evening time. Remember: I am NOT good after 8pm. And I generally am up at 5am at the latest. This event started at 6pm and I have to be there for 3:30.

The information for the Brochure did not arrive in my email box until very late last night.
---------------------* I was NOT HAPPY about that. *-------------------------

This morning I was even less pleased as more additions and revisions were added. Bye-bye relaxation time. Hello last-minute stress. I know myself very well after all these years. I know that I get an unnatural boost at events and then I pay in spades for it the next day. That is why I took tomorrow off. I also know I have to rest up and have alot of lead time and preparation or I get annoyed.

These are things I would change if it were possible. I have tried for decades... tried and tried and tried....

These traits I would prefer not to own, and I strive to change, but they reign supreme in me.
*I have a great need to be prepared. Printing off brochures at 1:00pm instead of enjoying a leisurely birthday luncheon with my sister was not a happy thing. Joining the luncheon late and having to fold and curl ribbon etc the second I finished eating was not a happy thing. Loosing my carkeys at 2:55 due to being overly distracted was not a happy thing.

I get in my car and drive to the event site.

I walk in the doors and *WHAM* there it is.

The energies surge. It is like I am about to take the stage. But of course I am not.I go into the kitchen to see what I can help with and find the caterer almost in tears. Seems she did not check out the kitchen in advance and brought nothing but the food.

The Hall supplied plates and cutlery. No pots. No bowls. No serrving items.
So her assistant is off getting these items while she waits as she does not have her FoodSafe (yet). So she cannot start cooking. I tell her *I do* and let's start cooking NOW.

It is painfully obvious we do not have enough time to get dinner ready.

Ex-hubbie arrives 1 hour late. Not bad for him.
I quietly explain to him we have a caterer in freak-out mode and he calmly begins to cook too.

I ask the Bar staff where the coffee is.
They tell me the Kitchen is doing the coffee.
I ask the Caterer and she tells me there is no coffee.
I know my Father is coming and he doesnt drink alcohol and doesnt like soft drinks.
I tell them I am whipping home to get my coffee-maker.
The caterer is upset. I don't have time to explain so I go to leave.
The assistant arrives and the caterer cries at her because we are *taking over*
I tell her she is the boss and just give me stuff to do and yaddda yadda make nicie nicie
and away we go.

I come back with the coffeemaker make a pot and who has the first cups? The caterer and her assistant and they thank ex-hub profusely for it. *hmph*
I discreetly serve dad coffee. Shhh!

The four people who have volunteered to serve do not seem to realise they are needed even though the clock is ticking ever closer to mealtime. We serve ten minutes late. Not bad for a meal with 45 minutes of delays. The MC can't figure out the microphone and doesnt announce it for another ten minutes. The Caterer is now in tears. Ex-hubbie goes out and smoothly gets people up and eating. The announcement is made.

The Servers show up but forget their jobs instantly and we have clients telling us what is running low. I hear a *smash* and whip out there with a broom and dustpan. Later I bring a wet rag and a dry one. It was a crockpot lid. Luckily broken BELOW the table.

I go in the kitchen and the Caterer says: "Who is doing the dishes?"
I arc my eyebrow and admit I do not know.
"Go ask ____ and tell her ___ wants to know who is doing the dishes."
They can't do this themselves?
Apparantly they cannot.
So I ask and the person tells me to tell the Caterer to take her apron off and come out and enjoy herself. Someone else will do the dishes.

As the someone elses are being trained on how to use the dishwasher I realise my father has been in the washroom for almost 25 minutes now. I knck on the men's room door. He is inside praying. I tell him to come out and buy a key prize and then let's go home. We walk back to the table and I can see every step is agony. I tell his table he is going home and he sits down to resume pretending it is all fine.

I grab him by the belt and hoist him up and say: "Come on Cinderellla. It is time to go home, I will drive you."

He gets up says his goodbyes and the second we are outside he turns to me and says:
"Was it that obvious?"
"can't fool me Dad. I know you."

We drive home and he is telling me how I must be getting tired of helping him out every day and how I must be ready to quit and how hard is must be for me.
The Language of letting go.

"NOPE Dad I am not tired of you I am just plain tired. I have crap lungs and a head injury that means I have to monitor my energies. I need more sleep than most people. That's all."

He is concerned because I missed a day of seeing him. One day.
I make a mental note to myself to flesh this out later with him and drive back.
Ex-hub then follows me one more time home to dads and we leave the big beautiful car there and zip back.

But not before I go in and tell him:
"How can you think I could ever be tired of you? I waited my whole life to know you!
You are the gift in Mom's death. The only gift. I wouldnt trade knowing you for anything. I am HAPPY to help and don't ever think otherwise. I just need alot of sleep. Just remember that.

We whip into the hall where the two someone's are doing dishes.
The someone elses are sisters. One of them is working her butt off. The other one is whining and complaining about her homework and not helping at all. I tell her I can do her job and go home if you need too. She leaves in a millisecond.

SO: we do 98% of the cleanup.
I have a chronic complainer who has been critisizing every step of the way.
She wants to know if we have decaf.
She sends people over for coffee.
We are finished the cleanup now and I want to get home to check on Dad.
I make tea for the ladies who really want coffee.
And then we go home.

As we are leaving another parent says to me: "You're going home already?"
I tell him I am tired. I tell him I signed up to help serve. And well...
"The first year I did concession" , he says, "I thought all I had to do was shop."
I remind him (again) I signed up to help serve.

I could have said "ya know I have been working on this event since 10 this morning...."
I could tell him: "I have run festival kitchens for 10 days with 200 volunteers and done it SOLO" but I don't.
I could tell him: "Thank man. Goodnite now."
But I let him think I am a big wuzz and we just leave.
My sister thinks I am being harsh again as I tell him to tell the caterer she did I good job.
"I already did" he says.
"Tell her again," I say, "I think she is a person who needs to hear it a few dozen times before she believes it."
"Ok, I will."

The Caterer needs to hear it from the right people.
THEN she will believe it.
But she is getting credit for a good job becus ex-hub and I worked our asses off.
(except mine seems to still be there.... drat it all)

When this event was in the planning stages, I saw the chink in the armour right away as the kitchen. It sounded wrong in every way as it was explained to me. So I slotted myself and my ex in there.

There were other big huge chinks but that one was the one I plugged.
These people worked about 8 times as hard as they needed to due to lousy planning and poor communication. ALL OF THEM.

I could have done that event myself.
But don/t tell them that.
Not only wouldn't they have believed it, they would be offended to think I could have the nerve to think that.

Oh and the MC was the shits too.
Actually he was _all right_ but for Fundraisers _all right_ aint good enough.

All I said as I left was to a parent helper who worked very hard:
"we need to have a meeting after this to review what worked and what did not and how to improve on it for next time."

Damned straight.
It made money.
We had awesome prizes in the end due to a few key people.
And no bums in seats.
But we made money.

I believe I can fly.
I wish others did too.
We can all fly high.

'buggery 1 bollucky -oh-eight in the am and I am still bloody buggery awake. DAMN that energy surge. I am so tired. But oh no... I blog buggery blog.' ---


" What does 'Palliative Care' mean to you?"

Hurray its friday!!
Hurray hurray the week has ended and I am so happy for it.

I encountered another person from my worksite today who I respect and enjoy working with. I asked this person what Palliative care means to her. I sketched out my frustrations of the earlier in the week visit. She was aghast.
I am glad for that not because I need a feeling of justification on that issue but it means she also feels we are sent for the Client in the bed not the family.

Generally, families find the Palliative Care Worker hard to be around.
We do the things you do not want to know about.
We do the things that are necessary.
We may hurt but we do not harm.
And much of what we do is very much best left unseen by loving eyes as the explaining is too hard. It has to be done. Dying can be as hard as birth was.
There is pain. The trick and skill is to do the necessary as quickly and gently as possible involving the client at the level they are able.

It is a passion. I know it is peculiar to say, but do people query midwivery? I suppose some do. I want to be more excellent in my practise all the time. I want to be lifted up and to uplift my staff and clientelle. I want to learn more and apply my knowledge. Onwards and upwards.



No insight wins

Just a little time ago I was contacted by a Supervisor over my concerns regarding my elderly client whose daily service was cut down to twice a week for showers. When he was informed of the cut he told me : "It's about time I checked out of here anyway."
He gave me the biggest hug when I left that day and I had a very bad feeling about things.
I reported my concerns and was told what I was articulating were things best met by other community organizations. Another staff member had told this same supervisor this gentleman of 94 was doing everything himself and did not need us.

"He tells me the gent cuts his grass now."
"He has a one acre lot. Does he tell you what kind of shape this man is in the day AFTER he cuts his grass?"
"He tells me he does his own showers."
"Did he tell you he falls in the shower? And has fallen several times doing his own showers?"

No they did not hear me.
I lost this one.

The champion cribbage master died on September 10th. 8 days after his service was cut.
I work for those ruled by the Government nickle and rewarded for using scissors, with no insight nor compassion.


not the best of days

I was delighted to find my morning client up and dressed looking so well.
She ate almost as hearty a berakfast as I had and was bright and well-oriented with no talk of going home or wondering where the *girls* are. Even the dog co-operated.
My second client was a little stiff and sore but that is usual for him. He was in a better mood than most days and did assist with good graces.

Client number 3 is going to eventually get a little old as she talks and talks and talks some more. The stories are verbatim to last weeks. She is just really bored I think, really really bored. And angry. I listen. I hear her. Life stinks at the moment for her. She is a good kind soul who has a body that is giving out. Her heart is in the right place and it is just fine.

After that I get my two ladies. A delight. I was looking in Lady #2's fridge and saw some pureed tomatoe dated 1988. YIKES. From the freezer but still!!! She is prone to stomach distress. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why. I cleaned her fridge completely out and tossed anything suspicious. Again. Looks like I may need to do this every 2 weeks or so.

I finished my shift and got in my car and realised I did not have enough energy for the drive home. I had to sit at the beach and recharge for awhile. Came home and ate a substantial meal but my energies are nil. I want to be asleep. Alas I had a meeting for the fundraiser and went, even contributing some reasonably good ideas.

Luckily we verified that the fundraiser is SATURDAY and not Friday.
I get dates mixed up. ;)

last night I was abed by 8:30 and asleep mere seconds after laying down. I slept until 6 which is late for me. I feel like I need another 14 hours. Can't seem to get my deep sleeps in.

I had a bizarre dream.
I was attending to a late stages Palliative Client. He was on a bed low to the floor and had to be moved. I moved him and then looking over his bosy realised I had closed the bed on top of him. I opened the bed up and got him settled only to realise I had pulled out his catheter AND pick line. Trying to figure out how I could be so stupid as to not realise he was in a collapseable bed, and how I could be so careless as to remove his appliances....
Then I had a thought: "This is a dream. I am not careless. I do safe practise."
And of course up I woke.

It was the fallout from the very unsatisfying sight of that healthcare worker doing a shit job the other day. Luckily the gentleman died later that day so he did not have to endure anymore of that.... whatever it is she thinks she does. ugh

Last night I dreamed of Mom. We were talking about what is happeneing with dad and she was asking me to take care of him. She told me he always was a horses' ass but he is OUR horses' ass and to please make sure he is all right. She always did ask me to do things she knew were difficult.


Now its puffer and meds time. And then I shall collapse into my bed,
and dreamlessly consider the night and all her denizens. I want to be alone tonight.
No visitations please.



What a great day!

Coming home to a message from a sibling I was somewhat concerned as to what was waiting for me. It turned out to be annoying and meddlesome but ultimatly unchangeable.
Some times people we love make really bad choices. It is so hard trying to step back and let them live the live they choose.

I also had a message from Tom the Handiman saying my bookshelf was ready.
Eeek! My wallet was not. $361 of cabinetry is a tad steep for what it is BUT the piece completes my library and enables me to clear my storage room and is a functional and not unattractive piece. I am happy.

It was a very cool day.
I got a few excellent donations for the dance group only to find they need ticket sales far more than donations. No matter--- we can use them another time, another event.

My morning shower client was too dizzy and tired to shower so we changed it to a lunchtime shower. She was still dizzy but it went well. Everything today went well! No asthma problems just a few sneezes and a minor cough attack at the home of a deaf woman so no problem there.



Awake!! Alive!! and Squeaking!!

I woke up at my regular time todat (4: 45am) feeling pretty good.
I can do my morning breathing exercises today!
(Some call them squeaking...)

It is going to be a great day!
I feel very Harmonic today.
Not so bad, not so bad.

Only 3 weeks this time. Now I need my flu shot and a winter free of more struggles. Oh I am so grateful, In and out without any rumblies.


Going to take some lilac carnations to Mom today.
I know she is not there. But dad will be. And that will be a nice thought for him to see her remembered and the sight well tended.

Miss you Mom.
You warrior you.


Almost finished

Today I came home to the funky chandelier installed in the second bedroom. This is great! There are only a few things left to do here and we are finished completely the inside.

The library shelves are being built for downstairs and should be in this week.
Then, the storage room will be completely empty and ready to be made into a walk-in closet for the second bedroom. I could use a bigger closet in here too but I do not really require it.

My handyman, Tom, is very good to me. He charges me a flat rate and does credible, though unimagitive work, and always cleans up after himself. Whenever I call him he says: "God, its not another chandelier is it?"

heh it usually is. I love chandeliers.

Next year I plan to tackle the outside. I know I said that this year but life got in the way. I am going to pot everything next year in outsize pots. Nevermind anything else. Just pots and more pots. And no grass. Gravel and moss suit me fine.

This weekend is the fundraiser for our trip to the Calgary games in July 06 for the Canadian Highland Dance Nationals. I offered to help in the Kitchen. ---oops
Apparantly I also offered to supply ten prizes. That I can do. I can help in the kitchen too, I just will need to hover near the back door lots. I am not very stable asthmatically just now and really need alot more rest than usual. I will do my best.

Anyway I am so looking forward to the Library being completed downstairs.
I can't wait.


Here is a hug for you dear reader for being so patient as to listen to my rants and raves.
And here is a hug to the family of the gentleman who died yesterday. It was a good day.


Tomorrow my first client is the one where I had the big asthma attack 2 weeks ago that began the nightmare cycle. I am afraid. Once I go it will be all right, I know it. I am fairly certain the trigger was nothing in her home but something that had happened the day before.... still, I find myself afraid.

This year I have done the almost impossible. Used almost every hour available to me under my sick benefits and all for my lungs. bleh

It will sure be wonderful to have full capacity again.
I am hoping soon.


Much-o better

This post should be titled "Much-o fuller."

My dear brother cooked up a storm today for brunch, and no perfumes were used in the preparation. He made mashed potatoes with a mushroom gravy, beef and horseradish rolls, a butter lettuce sided with shrimp and lemon cooked asparagus, fresh vine tomatoes, cold chicken slices, croissant, three exotic cheeses I cannot remember the names of, starfruit, yellow kiwi, pomegranite, grapes, lemon pound cake, vanilla slices, and a fruit flan.
Hardly any trouble at all.

I ate and ate and ate some more.
My stomach has not had this much food in it since Christmas.
It was wonderful.

I love family occasion food.
La la love.
That is all I did today. Eat, eat more, and help with the dishes.
Dad's place looks fabulous.
Actually I did do something else: I got Dad to get house insurance.
I also had him call the lawyer to clarify the chain of events leading up to his buy-out on his place. He could not remember. Dad is happy. He sure looked content today with 3 out of 4 of his children relaxing in his home. Just like the olde days.

Tomorrow it will be 8 years since Mom died.
Our other sister is putting (yet another) memorial in the newspaper.
I had to spend considerable time talking her out of the sidebar comment she wanted to insert below about a certain woman not really being part of our family nor reflecting our values.
I told her it would be disrespectful to Mom's memory and would detract from the memorial.

I am almost afraid to check tomorrow's paper.
Honouring mom in my heart is more important to me than reading or seeing newsprint but we all grieve in different ways.



Death by Perfumery

Last year. I wrote a Murder Mystery for our Church's Mission team to perform as a fundraiser.
It was hugely successful and tons of fun and the whodunnit part was guessable if an audience member was very trying.

The victim was slain by an allergy to some ingredient in perfume. One spray to her eyes and she was felled instantly. Now the irony.

Tonight I came close to a similar end.
Of all things, a family member came from afar to visit and walked parcel laden from the Bus Depot. Feeling a little conscious of being warm and possibly smelly, he whipped out some deodarant and applied it. I laughed and told him it wasn't THAT bad and while I was still talking he took out some spray cologne and sprayed himself all over. I could actually feel my lungs contracting.

Into the washroom for cold water to the face and the fan on. I coughed so hard I soiled myself. (again) Even with my puffer times 3 it took almost an hour before my breath came regularly.
I just lay still trying to slow my heart rate down and stay conscious.

I am such a lucky person. I always have been.
But luck comes good and bad and I have enjoyed so very much good luck.
I picture a giant hand holding a set of dice rolling over my head.

It was lucky 7 today.
I don't know anymore... two days in a row with attacks that were debilitating.
Yesterday it was an antique shoppe. One minute Jay and I were looking at a cupboard all refurbished and the next I was bent over trying to breathe. I slipped outside and just coughed for a good 15 minutes. If I could have lain down I would have.

Today when I got off work, I had to nap for 3 hours.
Hopefully, tonights' sleep will blow off any residual wheezers.

What a stupid way to die that would be.

Of all things to be a prophetess over, death by perfumery is my least desired.

I do not know why I feel compelled to blog this crap: fear I suppose.
I always knew I would die younger than most. I was told in my teens my lungs were scarred, told in my 20s my brain was scrambled and neck damaged....
but not now please God. It is too soon.

I suppose it always is.

An Ideological Difference

First thing this morning I was up and off to the farthest reaches of our District for a Palliative Client. This gentleman had been on my mind all weekend: I was hoping he was still alive as walking in on a recent death is a tough thing to start the day with.

Another Worker was there, a Community Health Worker. She had been there all night.
I came in and introduced myself to the wife and the gent in the bed and she was already talking. I ask the wife a question, she answered it. I asked the gentleman about his pain and she loudly said: "Oh he does not talk anymore."
--and so on

"There is not much to do, I already emptied his catheter."

I asked her if he had any sore spots to look out for.
She did not know. I asked her to help mee move the pad underneath him which had travelled up between his head and waist instead of his chest to knees.
"Oh do you think we should touch him? It might hurt him."

She said she had done his mouthcare but when I checked his mouth scales of thrush were falling into his tongue.
"Oh thats just skin."
"It's thrush." I said.
"Yes but the Nurses aren't treating it anymore."

She went on to tell me as I washed and creamed his feet that his feet were ticklish.

Everything involving Palliative Care seemed to be foreign to her.
Chatting to the family, or about the man in the bed was her strong suit.
That is real nice BUT that man is stillin THAT body. And THAT body must be sore.

She was dismissive of me and very substandard in her care and I hope I never work with her again. I also hope the Palliative Care Coordinator makes a point of ONLY sending TRAINED and SKILLED palliative care workers for such assignments.

Sure, she was great at sitting in a chair overnight, but she had not even done peri-care when she emptied his catheter.

Not that I am God's gift to palliative care but rather God has given me a gift FOR palliative care. When I am dying I dont want someone like her anywhere near me. In fact I don't wan someone like her anywhere near ANYONE who is dying. She has forgotten who the client is.
If she ever knew.

An expert on Palliative Care without compassion or common sense.
Days like today I wish I was the boss again.
I would send that young woman to a course on Compassionate Care for the Dying.

The very sad thing is that I am sure she thinks she did an awesome job.


Just plain sucks

When I worked the night shift, I ended every night with the same woman.

She was a very capable, talented, bright lady who had lost mobility and now had to be put to bed via a sling as she was far too heavy to assist any other way. The kind of care she required was pretty damned personal, and we got to be rather friendly.

I was very sorry that changing districts meant no longer seeing her. She lives in my city but between the job, and my family duties with my parent, there is no time for visits.

I had heard her husband died. This was sad but not unexpected news as he had been failing. Up until he was 90 he rode his horse every day. And jogged with his boxer at his side.
He lived a full happy life but still I was sorry to hear he had gone. I made a point of stopping in to see her on my way home to express my condolences and to tell her that I do think of her but time , it is all about time, and I do not get much.

She had a look I could not read on her face.

"Is your son living here still?"
"Yes. But only until his brother passes."
She had been able to stay in her own home as her one adult son moved in with her. He had been in a motorcycle accident 2 years ago and just never fully recovered. He had continual pain and a battle with the Insurance Company over his injuries. He got what his mom thought was the flu a month or two back. When he could not stop spitting blood she called 9-1-1 Cancer of the esophagus. A secondary from a lesion on his spine. He is on the Palliative Care Ward of the Hospital not expected to live another week. His brother from the USA is here to help. Then, Mom will have to sell her house and go into a facility. What sad news! There just is nothing to say in these cases. A hug and a prayer is about all you can do. God bless you and your sons Mrs. S. I wish him a quick and merciful death and you a happy and involved life in the Lodge. And I will come visit lots. (She's moving to the new facility which is on my street.) There really is nothing helpful to say nor do, not really.

It just plain sucks. --------


Joy joy joy

It was a beautiful West Coast day. I walked the sands on the public beach across the Bay and back again. Herons were sitting out in the low tide. Little brown ducks were scrambling along the tide pools getting breakfast. There was a very strong smell of some sea-thing; not kelp, not seaweed but very aromatic. I could hear the eagles before I saw them, they were so high, circling and watching. This was the farthest I had seen the tide out on this Bay.

Purple starfish were curled up in the sand, trying to burrow in to escape the notice of those birds. Starfish can contort into the most amazing shapes.

I will have to take that walk more often. Generally at the times I get my breaks, I cannot walk that beach only the boardwalk stroll along the breakwater. The sea air invigorated me and I was in a great mood for the entire day even though I am still a tad wheezy.

The Great Saline Mother loves me.


The Toenail Verse

I never know if the olde girls are just having me on, or if people really did use to say/and believe the ryhmes they tell me about. Sometimes, I think they make them up just to see if I will swallow it.

The sisters were sitting in the sunroom waiting on the nephew, who was going to come and drive them to the hairdressers. The younger of the two had a hangnail which I offered to trim for her.

"Horrors no!" she said. "It's Friday."

"No it's Thursday."

"Well, okay then. Go ahead."

"What would be so bad about cutting it on a Friday?"

They exchanged incredulous glances and then the elder chanted at me the following lines:

"Cut on a Monday for Health,
Tuesday for Wealth,
Wednesday for New
Thursday for Shoes
Friday brings sorrow
Saturday and you'll meet true love tomorrow."

"NO NO NO," said the other one.
"It's 'Cut your nails on a Friday, and the devil is with you all week."

And they were off, arguing about what saying meant what.
I got confused. I stayed confused. The hangnail is history tho.


"You sound a little hyped"

Prednisone, although a very fine drug to kick-start a suppressed immune system that does not feel up to forcing ye olde lungs to work, is still after all, a bully-boy steroid.

My sister had warned me not to do too much as I would be *high*.
O, I don't know about high. Compelled I would say is a better word.
I am drop-dead exhausted but I have the urge to DO something. Anything.
Yesterday, I wheezed through unpacking and sorting 11 of my Dad's boxes and helping him reduce, re-use and recycle them down to 3. It was hard persuading him not to throw maps in the garbage. "Who would want an olde map?"
If not the Thrift then the recycler.

Today I used that energy, that unnatural chemical energy to enforce a cull in my own home.
I had a miniature army of minions, vacuuming, dusting, and taking boxes away.
I must have gone up and down the stairs 2 or 300 times.
Th 13 year old collapsed. The 44 yr old friend went home. The 35 year olde well-intentioned neighbour made the hasty exit and still I soldiered on.

Long since done for the day, I tried to unwind my favourite way. (But Jay did not come over, drat it) Second favourite way, CBC the unblessed-at-the-moment-strokebound-CBC, a good bookieboo and some non-lead candles.

No dice.
Called my sister to ask her something or other I forgot the second she answered.
"You sound a little hyped," she said wisely.

I am exhausted.
And completely UNtired. And I lost that last Ativan to the vacuum, the one that was for tonight. -arg-

Now I did have a point when I began typing this.
Nothing to do with hobbits or geriatric and palliative care, mental illness or gamma rays.
Wish I could remember.
And I have the urge to giggle about it.
uh oh.



Tonight I will sleep in my new bed.
The medications will ensure I sleep without coughing, and the new queensize mattress will ensure I sleep a beautiful comfie sleep.


Wish Jay was here.
But he is *reclusing* in his habitual mode of making and eating dinner at the same time and then snoozling on his own until his muse sings out to him, when he will rise and answer her until 5 or 6 am.

It is such a grande thing to be able to express such creativity.
All I do is rearrange furniture ;)

"I'm not messy! I am creative!"

The Poisons we drink

I woke up this morning.
Last night there were several times I wondered if I would see another day.
I woke up this morning and although I couldn't greet the day the way I generally do (with song), I felt different.

No, I had not grown a sixth toe. The hair was not shaved off.
It was my Soul. I felt something. I had forgiven.
I have forgiven.

It is over. I truly no longer am emotionally invested with this whole drama of my Father's.
I care about his Health. I remember closely being outraged over the vampire's behaviours and sidelined more than a few times BUT I know now it has lost it's power over me.
I forgive her.

Unforgiveness is the poison we drink hoping another will die. (anon.)

I never was too quick at learning new things but once learned I am great at most.
Consider this learned.

"If you make the Most High your dwelling---
even the Lord, who is my refuge---
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lifted you up in their hands,
fo that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra,
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver and honour him,
With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

----Psalm 91


Endtimes in Orneryville

Back to five times a week in ORneryville, sometimes 3 times a day.
They tried to schedule some other people in there but it did not work well for the Gentleman.
The family is back.

I came in and gave them my brightest sunniest smile and wished them all a happy morning.
"Jesus, you have a heart of stone. My father is laying there dying and you want us to be happy.?"

Yeah actually.

I pulled up a chair and sat down.
Time to talk.

"I know you find me difficult and I know you do not understand why your father insists on it being me who provides his personal care."
"I believe you live until you die. You see your Father dying. I see your Father living. You see a pushy invasive personality blustering into your soon to be home and I see a wonderful character waiting for some comfort care.
I am not family. I am not a friend. I am a caregiver. That is all. Your father knows it I know it and now you know it too. All I do is come in here and distract him for a few short minutes while we do the things he wishes he could do himself. Then I go. That's it. And every day when I go he squeezes my hand and I kiss his forehead. In case we do not see each other again this side of eternity."

The Daughter tried to say something mean but it stuck in her throat.
I squeezed HER hand. She almost fainted.

"The reason I am so good with ornery people is that I lost my own Mother who was the ultimate nightmare for any Nursing staff. She made your dad look like a pussycat. And I knew if I could get through that, and I did, I could get through ANYTHING. This is the hard part now. IT feels like forever but when it is over, it will seem so short."

I went in to him and did my thing.
I left and of ourse said:
"Have a great weekend. Enjoy you time with your Dad."

He died that night. Surrounded by family.
They sent me a card to the office.
"Thank you for your kindness to Dad and the entire family."

Not all bad!



A little Gallows Humour

The change of seasons has been a right bitch for me this year.
I have a history of bronchial troubles in the autumn and there have been a few memorable years where I have come very close to meeting my maker but for one short gasp. This week has been in that same vein. I just run out of air.

Being a pharmaceutically enhanced being, I know that I am just lucky to still be alive.
Had I been born even 1 decade earlier I would not be around to rant. And the web would be a kinder, gentler place.

I do not like people to see me when I am unwell. I especially do not like people to see me when I am suffering the aftermath of asthma crises, and typically I hole up in my bedroom where I can control my environment completely.

I am lying in bed trying to recover from 48 hours of breathlessness. This is exacerbated by having to unpack, and move my parents stuff around, day after day after day with no real help. Lots of dust, lots of emotion and lots of grunt work. I pretend to my parent it is the flu (since it is flu-like) and I spend 2 days in my room.
I can't sleep, I can't lie down, I just sort of hover in and out of wheezidom, with the head of my bed way up.
Finally, amazingly, I fall asleep.

I hear my father's voice but I know it cannot be him because he uses a walker and can barely maneveur flat surfaces these days and MY room is up a flight of stairs. I feel the bed dip down. I open one eye and see my dear old dad with two bottles of ginger ale. He has come to try to make me better. (awww) I am too wheezy to converse but I just nod and smile and nod out.

I open one eye and see him standing by my dresser. I have a walnut armoire. It is very nice. It opens to 5 short drawers on the left and two shelves on the right. It has 3 long drawers across the bottom. He is stroking the wood. THe matching bedtable sits winking at him. I see him glance from one to the other.
I wonder if this is another one of those weird dreams of mine.

Dad says: "Boy this sure is a nice dresser."
(it is crammed full of stuff. I am a clothes maniac.)
I mutter: "Yes it is a good one."

I fall back into my sleep state.
I hear drawers opening and closing. My UNDERWEAR drawers, thank you very much!
I open one eye and yes; there he is.
Dad stands transfixed, still longingly surveying the dresser.
"This sure is a nice dresser. It has everything I need in a dresser. Boy, I sure wish I could get myself a dresser like this."

I grab my control and put mu bed up.
I shake my head.
Nope, it is not a dream.
Dad is here and some ginger ale is beside me and I have a feeling he isn't going anywhere.

"Dad," I say, "Are you wanting this armoire? I can get Tom the handiman to help me bring it to your house."
"Oh sweetheart would you?"

So he left, I slept and got up early the next morning to empty the &^$%^@#@@#!@! armoire.
It was a bugger to move. Of course all the drawers came out for transport, but the frame structure is one 4 foot high and 3 foot wide bloody heavy piece.
And Tom took the lion's share of the weight but my end was still waaaay too heavy for my taste.

But hey. I got out of bed!
Still can't breathe too deeply and am just waiting for the Clinic to open to make sure I am not full of pleurisy but I am up.

And now you know where I get my subtle streak from.

Whee! Go me!


Our Resentments will kill us

I heard this in the mud legend of a character that I truly despised.
Not because she was warm and fuzzy to my ailing aging poet friend in Arda, Jbpoe, saying to him out loud in front of me: "All of your friends are like gold to me" and then wasting no time in backstab gossipping me.
Not because she based her entire character's existance on hatred of another woman and encouraged young men to harass and kill that character; slagging her on the guild and main comms using the *c* word and worse.
No, mostly I detested her persona for the way she would pander to the Makers of our World, simply to be "Mattress to the Stars."
It was not personal. She just wanted to be a power-f**ker.
and so she was.

Funny she would have the wisdom to have such a legend.
I did not resent her when she went after *my* man in purely sexual ways, I just felt sad.
But I do have resentments. And they are making me sick.

I saw the woman who tried to erase and usurp my mother dropping boxes off at the Thrift stores. Oddly enough, when my parent got his furniture and personal possessions from his home last weekend, the only things he really wanted seem to be missing.
He wanted his certificates from his Work.
His accolades.
The sole one we found was his Master Mariners certificate.
His pilotage one is missing. The Training he got in Europe one is missing.
hmm, interesting.

I was at the Thrift store today and I saw my mothers collection of stickpins in a box.
Her Gideonettes stickpins, her San Juan Capistrano stickpins, her hummingbird stickpins, her ones from me "I love you Mom" ones, given to her from when I was a young teen and a $5 stickpin was a huge deal. The odds of someone else having this collection are nada.

I also saw the crystal salt and pepper shakers with the mother of pearl tops and sterling bands which I had given her when I worked for a very chi-chi Jewellery company.
I went to the bank and took out 60$ which was sixty more than I could afford.

I bought back the few items that meant alot to me.
And I felt resentment and bile.
I hope I can forgive soon.
I want to.
But disrespecting my daed mother makes me ANGRY. Disrepecting my dad is bad but he was the idiot who married a woman he didnt know after a mere 27 days and is somewhat culpable. Mom is dead. This woman is living a LAVISH lifestyle on my mothers money.
And will not even say my mothers name.

If anyone can haunt it will be mom.
But she is in heaven looking down and shaking her head at me.
She wants me to forgive this evil predator.

So no more can we the family vacation on the waterfront at Canada's best beach. No more can we the family enjoy holidays and special occasions looking out to sea and remembering all the times Dad piloted those very waters and Mom sat there with binoculars.
It is all in the past now.

I hope the roof leaks and carpenter ants invade and a landslide hits JUST that home.
And I will stand in the rubble and tell Mrs. Much-married and never satisfied NOW I forigve you.
You evil witch.

In the TV movie of her life they need to find an actress who resembles Joan Crawford at her creepiest.

Someone else will


Sitting up

What a good thing there is no overnite romance in this house.
How to explain sitting up to sleep?
"Oh and btw, I have a tendency to stop breathing in my sleep, and possibly I might yell and scream."
oh yes that is a crowd pleaser.

cant take sleeping pills.
Cant take pain pills.
Cant take alcohol.
No sex atm.
Is it me, or has the fun gone out of being single?

I know I am lucky to be alive.
I know it.

Be content. And breathe.

breathing in out in out

Kate Bush had a song like that.
sometimes you have to count the breaths when you are in difficulty.
In out in out

Seasons change and the allergens are high.
Unthinkably, I had a full blown asthma attack at work. I think I killed off some braincells on that one. It did not get better. I had to come home early where I have been in bed for 3 days now just trying to breathe.

In out in out.

I quit smoking when a friendly neurologist took me for a stroll through the emphysema ward. "That's you , the wheezer."

It is coming for me I know it.
Sometimes it feels close. Mostly I do not think about it.
BUt when you can't breathe, your thoughts tend to dwell on basic functions.
The worst part is noone can help.

in out in out
in out in out