Monday, August 30, 2010

Maxine Monday

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The next challenge

3 Hospital stays, just for the hospital. Haven't even gotten the one where she spent most of the time in the ICU! $69880.26. Wow. Glad they aren't actually asking for this amount!

But they ARE all asking for this. Pain Management Physicians, Physical Therapy, Ambulance Service, The Fire Department, E.R. Physicians, nursing home physicians .... sigh ...

Believe or not, all these bills were much scarier inside their envelopes. I will bring all this to work tomorrow and during my lunch I will make some phone calls to get actual totals owed so I can bring just one bill from each service to the nursing home tomorrow evening. Mom has asked me to bring the bills. She delegates everything to me - but I'm not sure if she'll listen to me if I tell her not to pay the total to each one. We will see how well she does the money/bill balancing act. Wish me luck!

** I have to admit I am starting to feel like a grownup. I had to be 51 years old and be responsible for my mother before I felt like a grown up. I wonder if other people feel that way.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Deny, Deny, Deny!

My boss called me today. "How are you doing BJ?"

"I'm fine - I start every week with a new attitude, didn't ya know?"

"Nah, I mean .. I know you have a lot to deal with right now here, and at home .. seems the last 3 weeks there's been a change."

Yeah. Yay me.

He's right though. Things have been rough at work lately, truly rough, I'm not the only one feeling it. I may be the only one who has started to cry and hung up on a conference call, loudly, last week though.

I've found that when my mom goes into the hospital I go on super-stress overload. And then once she is out of the hospital I am still back and forth to the nursing home getting her settled in her room again, everything just so, put where she can find it - or wants it. For days. After that I may need a week where I only visit 3 times to finally decompress, and by the end of that week I start to find some calm.

But there have been visitors too, visitors, hospital, and visitors.
When you have stress at home it would be really nice if you had a sweet and enjoyable job. And visa versa. Stressful job? It would be wonderful to have a peaceful and calm home.

BUT - that aint happening either place, anytime soon. And I vehemently deny that some kind of hellacious menopausal hormonal event was taking place at the same time - for the last few weeks. Uh uh. I did NOT cry at commercials or get angry at the sound of a voice. Nuh uh. Not me. I did not fervently crave Lucky Charms (okay, just the charms) or hot fudge applied to anything, either.

Because if I had had that much stress at home and work and in my body functioning - I seriously would have killed someone. Really.
And as long as you don't dig behind the garage - we'll be fine.

I'm feeling better, thank you very much.
Thanks for asking, Boss!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Maxine Monday

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Want some cheese with that whine?

Embroidery projects brought to the nursing home have been
untouched. Crochet projects, undone. The knitting needles and yarn sit unused. Even the silly little paint by numbers kit hasn't been attempted.

For over a month I collected photos, family photos, scanned then, sized
them, put over a hundred and thirty of them on different backgrounds, added some landscapes and flowers and loaded them on a 12" digital picture frame and brought that to my mom.

My daughter and her fiance' visit regularly and read to her, bring her black jelly beans, ice cream, and even freeze dried space ice cream which she loves.

I do her laundry and bring her grape juice, take her downstairs to the little aviary to see the birds and wheel her outside to the patio when the weather is good. I clean the jello from the floor, pick up the peas and the other food she drops. I charge her phone, download apps and
help her listen to her voicemail. I advocate for her, talk to the doctors and nurses and aids, search through the nursing home laundry in the basement for missing clothes.

My brothers and my nephew came in to visit from out of state, brought her chocolate, stuffed animals and hugs and kisses.

But ...


She talks about going to Target to find a pot for a plant. Or going to the bank to open a new account. She asks when she can go to visit my brother in New Jersey to see the plants around his house. She wants to go and do the things other people do.

I'm afraid to take her out.

She is too weak to walk more than a few feet without losing her breath. She has a huge oxygen tank attached to the back of the wheelchair she uses and the logistics terrify me.

I can't do it. The one thing she wants, and I cannot give it to her.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Maxine Monday

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Breathe deep ...!

I wrote about how this type of program affected me as a kid, and I was just a neighbor. Imagine the new perspective these children get, how many possibilities they see. Truly an awesome opportunity.

Wonderful for everyone involved. Please consider it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Room with a view

Tonight's sunset from my Mom's hospital window.

Mom's doing well, although she does have pneumonia which can take a really long time to get rid of for an elderly person. Still plying her with antibiotics and fluids and her roommate is a retired nurse which is a bonus. Eating seems to have become her newest best activity - it's like in the last couple of months at age 82 - she finally decided she doesn't need to worry about her weight anymore and is enjoying her meals for the first time in her adult life! She's a whopping 117 pounds!

Anyway, I'm going to work and the hospital and no one is making meals for me. Feel sorry for ME day. Okay, don't. I'm fine, just perpetually tired. Oh and get this - with the heat index (heat + humidity) today it felt like 103. And the air conditioning in my car crapped out. :)

Trade lives, anyone?




Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Every time a guest leaves ...

Mom made it all the way to the ICU this time, all because she came up with a fever and a wheeze. Not sure if I should ignore these things because man they whip her out to the hospital SO fast!

Once at the hospital she fell into a deep sleep and her blood pressure was low .. 83 over 38, numbers like that. This is her monitor today. She had meds and fluids and constant monitoring to get it back up to where it is now.

After sleeping about 3 hours before going to work this morning, I was tired heading for the hospital straight from work tonight. But there she was chasing a peach slice around the napkin on her chest, and laughing her evil laugh at me like she knows something about me I don't know.

Hmmm... like maybe I fell for it again? Nah. She couldn't have faked her numbers, could she?

Remains to be seen I guess. Early to bed tonight.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Maxine Monday

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Can we talk about the bag?


People who know me know I will spend a whole day online searching for the perfect something, rather than running from store to brick and mortar store to find the same thing closer to home. I do as much shopping online as I can, but I search for the best deals. I found a glaring example of the differences today and frankly, I was a bit shocked.

Remember the bag? Thank you, yes it IS lovely. I originally found it at, somewhere I frequently search for a bag if I am in the market for one. I wanted a better price than $99.99 so I did a Google search for Tignanello, the brand, but also went to another shop I found recently called At I found the same bag for $67.16 with $6.96 shipping. Free shipping at ebags, but still a better deal at That is where I bought it.

Tonight, ever in search of the perfect bag - okay - I went outside my comfort zone and decided to try a bag with shorter double handles. Turns out I don't like it. I should have kept my arms inside the ride and stayed with what I know. It still is a lovely bag. Ahem. Onward. Tonight I was scanning ebay looking at the bags and I came across the same bag for .. wait for it ... $120.00!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF???

Being aghast I sent an email to the seller asking how they could be selling the bag for close to twice what I bought it for - and who cares if the shipping was free! This is a top-rated seller with 100% feedback - but it's still a rip-off. So be careful out there people.

If you're shopping on the internet and you see a pair of shoes, a purse, a camera, whatever - search for that item until you find it somewhere that will give you the best deal. I would have been horrified if I had bought the bag on ebay and then found it as much as $60.00 less somewhere else. I understand and believe in capitalism. But how do people sleep at night when they rip people off like that? Because you know the person who buys the bag for $120.00 isn't the type of person who is familiar with searching for the same item somewhere else.



Friday, August 6, 2010

Too cute!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

On another note - wait - there IS no other note ...

Haven't been reading blogs, much less commenting. Not much time for myself lately. I don't do guests, and 2 weeks ago my brother from the east was in town and stayed with me, last week my nephew from the south was here and stayed here too, and tomorrow my brother from the northwest will be here and he's staying .. well .. you get the picture. Thank God when my sister comes to town she will be staying with a friend.

My mom's older brother (from Michigan) stopped in for a couple of hours last week as well - wait - I think I have my weeks mixed up - but - anyway, people seem to be lining up to visit. My family is not close, we don't have family get-togethers or remember birthdays or any if that. So basically Mom has to be thinking - well I MUST be dying for all these people to come from far flung states to visit me! Sigh-h-h-h. But I know they want to see her before it is too late so let them come. Just don't expect me to clean my house for them.

Okay, maybe I will do that.

Mom is doing well right now - she's up and dressed and eating like a freaking horse every day, and has plowed her way through her weight in chocolate, black jelly beans and ice cream lately. She's not diabetic and eats all her breakfast, lunch and dinner every day so I say - eat all the sugar you want Mom! Might as well be happy!

So yeah, I guess I'm doing guests now. But I'm not doing it well, I can guarantee you that.

I keep hoping I will have something else to write about but this is really it these days. Although I did run across a product that apparently is not new, but it was new to me and it made me laugh. And when I looked for something to link to - to describe it - I came across this. It made me laugh more than the product.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Maxine Monday


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