Saturday, October 31, 2009


According to Wikipedia:

"The Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos or All Souls' Day) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Latin Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 1st and 2nd in connection with the Catholic holiday of All Saints' Day which occurs on November 1st and All Souls' Day which occurs on November 2nd. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts."

Around these parts, there's only one place to go if you're wantin' to set up your own little Dia de los Muertos altar, and that's the Arnosky's big blue barn, home of Texas Specialty Cut Flowers. I stopped by this morning to grab some arugula and cheese, and found Pamela cranking out fresh pumpkin cookies and empanadas, to go with the Mexican hot chocolate that was simmering on the stove. What a great way to start the morning!


You see? This is exactly why I'm always hesitant to leave John unsupervised for any length of time! It was bad enough that I needed a notebook full of instructions in order to turn on our TV or listen to music, but now I need one just to go to the frickin' toilet? Sheesh!

You see those instructions under the lid? If you click the photo to enlarge it, you will find that it's a warning, reminding you that this is an electrical device, and you need to be careful not to get it wet! So, what happens next time the toilet overflows?

Of course, I have no one to blame but myself. After all, I knew he was an engineer when I married him.

Friday, October 30, 2009


We got Mom moved into the nursing home on Wednesday, and though she cried on the drive over there, she seemed to settle in OK. We went back and checked on her yesterday, and my overall impression is that she's actually relieved to be there, in a hospital-like atmosphere - where nobody expects her to do anything for herself. They don't even want her to get out of bed without calling for help. I think she feels safer there, with lots of people coming in and out. She keeps her door open all the time and watches all of the activity in the hall. She didn't seem the least bit upset when we left after dinner yesterday, whereas it was always quite traumatic for her at the other place. She hated being alone at night in that apartment, even though there were people just down the hall, and she had emergency buttons she could push. Unfortunately, I see her getting weaker with each passing day, and she's beginning to lose her grip on reality at times. I realize she's not going to get any better, but I would settle for her just being calm and content for however long she has left.

You know, according to my "Seasonality" motto, there is a time and a purpose for everything. Well, I think Mom would have been devastated if we had pulled her out of my sister's home and "dumped" her straight into a nursing home two months ago. I think maybe she needed that transition period in assisted living first, in order to come around to the idea - even if having to move her twice just about killed us kids!

As usual, you should picture me kissing the ground, when I finally got back to Wimberley just a few minutes ago.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Par for the course, we seem to be just treading, treading, treading in place, then suddenly, ZOOM! Our first choice of places to move Mom origianlly told us they had no beds available. This afternoon, they called us back and said, O.K., we can take her after all, but she needs to move in tomorrow. Sweet Cheeses! So now we've got less than 24 hrs. to break the news to her, pack her up, and get her settled in. Wish us luck. '09 is definitely going down in my journals as "The Year of the Sucky Birthday."


Yesterday, the head nurse at the facility where Mom lives - the very same guy, in fact, who originally came out to evaluate Mom just a couple of months ago, and insisted that she did not need to be in a skilled nursing facility - announced that she is much too needy to be in assisted living, and that we have 30 days to find her another place to live. He said that if an inspector came by and found one of his residents in the shape that Mom is in, he could get slapped with huge fines. And, oh yeah, he already checked, and there are no beds available in the nursing section of the facility where she is currently residing. Ssshhheee-yyyuuuttt!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I finally get a break, to run back to the house, take a shower, and try to grab a nap, and what do I do? Run straight to you!

As usual, there is both good and bad in every situation. The good news is that: 1)Mom is almost back to her usual self, after 2 days of us force feeding her and watching her like a hawk around the clock, 2) The Christmas presents I am making this year are portable, and I have been able to work on them some whenever Mom dozes (I'd so love to show them to you, but everyone who is getting one reads this blog!), and 3) A fabulous new book called Blogging For Bliss, by Tara Frey, came in the mail just before I left Wimberley, and it's really helping to make my time here more bearable. Not only am I gleaning great tips on how to improve my blog, and wonderful advice to share with attendees when I sit on the Story Circle Network blogging panel at the conference in February, I'm also being introduced to some fabulous new blogs that I can't wait to explore further! For any of you who have ever toyed with the idea of starting a blog of your own, run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and nab a copy for yourself.

The bad news is that as soon as we leave Mom to her own devices, she will go right back to her old ways of sitting on the sofa all day, and refusing to bother with picking up a fork to eat what's on the tray they have brought her, or take her meds, or let them bathe her, or anything else she needs to do in order to be able to stay in her lovely appartment in the assisted living building. So in all liklihood, when we meet with the staff, they will probably say that she'd be better off in a skilled nursing facility, stuck in a bare, double room, having nothing but a bed and a chair to call her own. When or if she will have to move, who will have a space for her, how soon we will have to get her room dismantled and belongings disposed of, and how much longer I will have to lie awake all night on that very skinny, slightly odorous sofa in her living room, jumping each time she calls, well, all that remains to be seen.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


My hubby comes up with THE most amazing surprises, does he not? (Notice the similarities in color gradation between this and the cake pan that I went nuts over a couple of days ago.)