Monday, January 31, 2011

Dadz hanging in

Dad and I standing sometime before Katrina at huge, if not largest oak in Ocean Springs. Dad could hang on a couple of more days, may, indeed, make it to his 90th on Thursday.Hard to sleep last night; hard to not think of him, which is fine. I'll imagine him sailing out of the hospital (hospital is really very nice!) whore house (his delusion); he was quite a fine sailor and taught my sister and me to sail, first in a dingy, then in our 36 foot ketch The Cap'n Flint. We once painted a huge jolly roger on the spinnaker. We sailed to the coast often in the summers, spending nights at Horn Island, waking to porpoises leaping around us - crossing the island to swim in the clear waters of the windward side, collecting drift wood. We learned to soak wash clothes in the ice water (from the block of ice in the ice box!) to put on our foreheads and ankles so that we could sleep in the heat!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

no win, certainly, no choice?

My brother's driving over to the coast from New Orleans; the doctor is vacillating, very hesitant to operate on Dad's cecal volvulus (twisted bowel). He will die of the condition if left alone (most probably die). So when William first gets in the car it is with the notion that they will operate on Dad this evening. The operation will leave a long scar and may leave him with a colostomy bag if not leave him dead. Dad's been sleeping all afternoon and is not in pain. The doc says that he can guarantee to keep him out of pain if they don't operate. Now Will's driving trying to make the decision to operate or not, he's got one hour, about he time he has left to drive to Ocean Springs Hospital. I see Dad not waking up.

At some point you must lie with yourself

alone in the hospital or whore house in your head

not the hero you imagined

but hero of your life, Dad.

it takes a village...

I totally realized this when raising my two sons out here in a relatively isolated hollar; but i'd wager now that at all ages IT TAKES A VILLAGE (especially when elderly)! Goes along with, "one mother can raise a dozen kids, but a dozen kids can hardly care for one mother." I think I've rustled up some villagers to help with my cantankerous Dad, who refuses to plan for such eventualities. Maybe some of the "lounge folk" will also visit him. Getting over my own disappointment in John who was convinced that he could take care of Dad - we all have been living in delusional world. It seems that we all need pricks or kicks into reality. Look at the streets of Egypt! Revolution smolders under the concrete. I wonder if I am suggesting that revolution is reality breaking thru the delusion that all is hunky dory? I think we do need a sense of connection in order to regain our power to heal; to heal our bodies or our communities, or our nation. We need advocates and are often poor advocates for ourselves. This is where we need needles or the acupuncturist! I suspect it gets more difficult as we age as reality can only be rude at beast (at best!), painful often and killing whenever. Last winter when I was here alone in the hollar with 3 goats and too many chickens to count, two dogs, four cats - I had to face the fact that it was not a good idea to sled down the fine run down my son's road alone in the night - that if something broke who would find me and when???? No cell phone works out here! I suspect I may need to begin to cultivate more of a village to this hollar!
Looking forward to the "reality" of another 50 degree sunny day!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Daddy's in the hospital crazy as a loon or worse..

he should be at his 90th birthday party! Seems he has another bleeding ulcer, again from medication we tried to tell him were not good; but his doctor prescribed and he only listens to white coated folk. For the second time a doctor has tried to manage his arthritis pain with med (Mobic this time) and to cover the tendency to stomach ulcers put him on acid suppressing drug...It has failed again. John finally gets him to the ER yesterday they give him morphine for pain in the ER; by the time they get him to a room, Dadz is in full paranoia delusions that the hospital is a whore house, the nurses are not real nurses. They are out to get him - oddly the same hallucinations that he had in New Orleans and in Ocean Springs before - we thought he was reacting to Versed, but it is narcotics - maybe both. The hospital had to give him Haldol (?sp). John's back at the house today in too much pain to go anywhere. Luckily Amy (nursing student who fixes Dadz meds for him) came to the hospital - she had been trying to get Dad off the Mobic to no avail as Dadz refuses to tell his doctor.
My brother drove over to check on Dadz - spent no more than an hour. Now I'm 800 miles away to figure who will pick Dadz up tomorrow if he is released; and who can sit with him if he needs someone - which he looks like he will at least for a week. You would think that at least John could SIT downstairs for a few days. Maybe I can reach the social worker at the hospital tomorrow, if he is discharged.
Mercifully, Susan came out and we walked! we had lunch and a beautiful little pie she'd brought from the market. What a wonderful trip she had in New Mexico - 4 days in a hogan. The Navajo language has no separate references - you can't say good bye...fascinating! She brought eggs into town for me and remedy for Diane. oh, good day, reached 50!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

watching the sky change

After a sudden heavy rain which sent the goats under the deck, sleet came and now rain with large globs of snow. It is lovely in an odd way, an indecisive manner; but all is being painted white. Apparently the snow forecast is happening, altho sooner than anticipated (schools in this county open and now I hazard are scrambling to bus the children home). I'll go out to feed Alaska cat when the sky is all snow; my rain gear is deficient.
Finished Diana Athill's SOMEWHERE TOWARDS THE END, written in her 89th year, a thoughtful memoir. I had a slow start, but the writer grows on one. Her discussion of care giving was particularly recognized; especially as she was referring to her once lover turned friend who lived in her house. He was impossible about caring for himself, a diabetic, who could stop eating sweets only when blood sugar levels brought him down - but once recovered, would binge on cakes again. How difficult it is to live with someone who falls into such carelessness, creating a shallow black hole which effects the house. I know her feelings on this! But I guess anyone of us can fall into such a state of neglect. Health and attitude: ill health is tolerable if attitude is companionable? We are poor care givers to the boring, dull, depressed or disgusted.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

a Sunday

Looking up at the Bears - Packers game, wanting to cover the bare arms of some of the players, looking at their breath white in the frigid air,finally Chicago makes a goal. I realize that I'm not much of a football fan when there is no one in the house who watches. I do, however, like to at least know who will be in the Super Bowl; at least to be able to chat with my son, or brother or dad. But today it is a distraction between goading the goats back into their yard and closing the chickens into their coop around 6.
I got into thinking about working on "Heavy Boots" this morning, placing the small black boots on the counter; but neglecting to find sturdier wire for the armature. Am I waiting for a big snow fall? What was yesterday rumored to be a snow occasion for Tuesday, is now more forecast to be flurries and even rain! Heavy Boots will have to wait, but play on my mind.

Friday, January 21, 2011

the goatherd

the goatherd doesn't write much
unless she scripts the sky

she watches from the heated house
as goats graze in her yard

she scratches as the chickens do
looking for grub or seed

the dogs would oust her from her spot
but her attention feasts inside.

- it's just to f***ing cold today, we walked to feed Alaska, but we're dread to venture on another walk - tho must go check for eggs.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

unconscious affinity

For the last several days I've been concocting a skillet dish I couldn't named but craved; it has carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms and cabbage - and if i have handy, broccoli and roasted winter squash. I eat a bowl with a hard boiled egg and peanuts. It dawned on me this afternoon that it is a kind of thai stir fry. So I guess I am journeying vicariously to Thailand!
My last post concerning age was prescient: today Maxine Kong Kingston (Talk of the Nation) was talking about being an elder! An older person isn't an elder just by age, but is someone who takes responsibility for the world and shares their understanding with others (she mentioned that someone like Martin Luther King was an elder even though young, because he did accept responsibility for the world). Maxine was delightful (she hates photographs of herself) and inspiring. I would think I am a sort of elder - moving towards that, dragging towards that!
We had a goat stroll to the river this afternoon; though goats prefer chomping about my yard. The dogs and I had to wait for them to tire of the familiar before we could bound off down the creek. Ice lingering on the river; imagine this colder weekend will encourage more ice to form.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

i am officially

OLD! I signed up for social security to begin on my 66th birthday in April; I was so hoping to be on my x's, but his half portion was a good deal less, so I'm on mine. And at least it is enough to cover my Medicare payment plus some. I can honestly say that I never thought I'd live this long. I realize now it is not so old and that the heart has little sense of time. I have adapted my idea of old to more ephemeral constraints such as obstinacy, repeating stories to the same person, forgetting BIG things, and what? Joining too many non profit organizations!
Today I called the office of Representative Morgan Griffith to ask him to vote against the repeal of Health Care; I felt as if it might be a useless gesture. But a real person took down my information and registered my sentiment; I hope more people call. I fear there is a great deal of apathy out there. I know I could feel apathy weighing my hands, not wanting to dial the phone. I wonder just how many of the newly elected Congresspersons are voting to repeal Health Care Reform just as a political move, how many of them realize the obvious benefits of the bill? Too too much posturing I think. Which brings me to this picture of grand-daughter whose inquisitive look at her dolls foot leads me to believe that she might be a doctor one day!

Monday, January 17, 2011

could there be jealousy in the house?

Last night our house guests took off around 10 and would not come back; I went to bed assured that because of the warmer night (30's), they had decided to nest in their more comfy beds on the blue house porch. Then again Mojo may have convinced Irie that they could have a late night snack on a deer caucus; or Irie convinced Mo to take a roll in dung. Whatever, it is 7:30 and they are not down altho I have called their names and mentioned diner. I'll walk up with Alaska's treat in a little while and pray they are there. I think they are an itsy bitsy jealous of Mr. Lee who gets to sleep upstairs with me - while they sleep on the rugs down in the kitchen.
Update: Mo and Re were indeed on their porch and came down to Nanee's with little coaxing. we have a new arrangement: Mr. Lee and Irie both upstairs at night (Mr Lee tho still only one on bed - to high for Irie to jump - she sleeps underneath), Mo and Katrina downstairs in kitchen. Seems to be harmonious.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

blahs and uck

Mojo found a deer carcass, deposited head under the plum and deposited poop in house. I think I may have gone to sleep too early, tired and nauseous. Now I'm wrestling with diarrhea which I'm hoping is merely a 24 hour bug. Need to check on the studio, but lazy. Lovely sun, hate feeling sick - got to be well for webbie lunch tomorrow. About to take some homeopathic Phosphorus and go into the green house to water the plants and be really warm, surrounded by green, flowers even.
Feeling better, cheers from Texas.
Afternoon walk to the river with goats who refused to join the dogs under the rare long leaf pine. Many turkey tracks arrowing us back and forth the creek. My dog company won't be happy with me, but I think I will leave them inside while I ride the truck up to get the mail.

Friday, January 14, 2011


woke up this morning around 6, feeling pretty good, got email from travelers that they had arrived in Bangkok. so sorta whistled out to open the chickens - two eggs already. On the way back to the house i noticed that there was steam coming from the hot water heater vent in the studio, the windows were steamy - and as i got closer the f***ing back door was open. oh, f, f, f...i put the eggs in the house and ran to the studio. It is 11 degrees outside, but it is hot in the studio and water is gushing from under the kitchen sink. I turn off valves, no help. I scream. the water must be an inch deep thru out the studio. I pull out a rug, turn off space heaters.
Back to my house and swallow pride, call John. I figure i can always scream again. He tells me he thinks there is a shut off valve in the bathroom of the studio, that i don't have to dig outside.
there is no shut off in the studio, after i pull out sheet rock. So I dig outside under the container. It takes a few more phone calls and screams, until i find the correct valve - the blue handle one before the flood stops. I turn off the gas to the hot water heater. I pull out the other rugs, then dare to peak under the bed where there is the johnny jump up. I bring out things to dry,luckily not much. A neighbor has a wet shop vac he'll lend me. thankful now that it is studio and not the house. I'm going out to take some pictures. I'm exhausted and it is only noon. i canceled a client and worked with them over the phone. i think it is a good day for a nap.
what i've put off is checking the closets! hope there's no papier mache on the floor! i did have a box of books on the floor which are now soaked. But the sun is out and it is 32 at least. Going to let the goats out, bring them water.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

just eggs

The eggs today looked like spring, a tease in January to have the pale colors. I'll take a tease in January, a day of sun in the upper 40's - oh, I would dance for that. Then again I'll dance about for less or worse. Today the eggs were so beautiful in the basket that i had to photograph them and I had to celebrate the email around 3 this afternoon saying that the travelers had arrived in Seoul. In sync with the email came a phone call from Ma and Pa wondering if the travelers had arrived in Thailand. It was a day of gifts; Chelsea brought books to qigong, Saroj gave me a ride, Jenny and Mike drove down my road to help melt the snow...and we had hot chocolate. Visitors a rare treat in January. Now to watch my Netflix and finish a book, I will speak of it later.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

blueberry muffins

Because I am reading Jim Minick's THE BLUEBERRY YEARS, I woke up this morning wanting muffins (actually I wanted pie that stains tongue and teeth as Jim so well describes). And they are delicious and something to do with all the eggs accumulating. No school so no qigong, although just an inch of snow out here. Baldwin called last night to say they made it to Charlotte, that the trip was treacherous once at the NC border on I-77. The airports should be open by tomorrow morning - soon they will be dancing on the beach in Thailand - sending me sunshine at least in my heart. Was fun to talk to Ezra last night who is in Vail with my brother, it is seventeen BELOW there - too cold to ski. Need to bundle up again to bring water to goats and a bit of corn; chickens are out and braving the garden. Later a trip to the mailbox and to feed Alaska cat up at the blue house. It is snug in the kitchen with so many warm bodies.
Along with care of animals, Mr. Lee and I are charged with loving the baby dolls - this should be easy, as long as i keep the baa-ing lamb away from Mr. Lee.

Monday, January 10, 2011


About an hour and a half ago I began my journey into the space of the hollar laid more prickly bare without this face and her people. They began their trip a day early due to the weather and hopefully are having an uneventful drive to Charlotte where they will visit with Pearl's crib mate, Joey and her family (the former family of Mr. Lee!) Wednesday morning they will fly from Charlotte to Atlanta and from there to Thailand - Buddha-land Pearl says! Fitting I suppose that it is snowing and I have just parked the Prius at the top of my road, walking back kicking gravel into the center, calling for Mojo and Irie to come down to the house to spend the night with me and mr. lee! I won't be lonely for animal commiseration and I have oodles of fresh eggs. And now I am off to close up the chickens for the night and to call again to Mojo and Irie who are still hanging out on their porch in doggy deep denial!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

blog blocked

I realize it has been a week since I stopped to write, busy anticipating six weeks of winter without grand baby, not wanting to face company lacking! But as reality sets in, I find I am moving from denial into acceptance and further into silliness. The goats have settled in, grazing outside their yard without need of much supervision for an hour. The 9 Blue House hens seem to be enjoying the greater yard; 7 eggs today and Baldwin added more laying spots. But I'm not cheered by the snow flurries and by the forecast of more snow on Tuesday.
Here I sit on the sofa (upstairs is warmer!) with Katrina on my right and with Mr. Lee on my left. Katrina wants to play with my homeopathic program key or her tail; she behaves much better since Mr. Lee has become a member of the family - I haven't been scratched in a month. We'll be the sofa three; the Netflix trio. We'll pooh pooh the snow! I'll learn cat/dog qigong! Glad I've got a NOOK!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

drumming in the NEW YEAR

what else to do on New Year's Day? oh, yes, we had black eyed peas and greens - but gotta have some music! Rainy outside, but P and Mr. Lee and I snuggled in my bed - then played ball. Later we bundled up to carry the bird feeder to the shop for refilling.
Slippy sloppy walk with Baba and Mojo and Mr. Lee to the river - still much ice on the north bank. And oh, Baba is right, it is amazing to realize we are into the second decade of 2000. 1984 had so impressed me in high school, that i never thought to live past that date!
Waiting for my chickens to roost so that i can dress to go into town for Burton's annual New Year's Day feast.
OH, WHAT A FACE . A GLORIOUS FACE! sure hope skype works when she's in Thailand!