Monday, December 21, 2009

Bye Mom

My mother passed away yesterday 12/20/09 at 7pm at Christal's home in Cumberland, RI. She declined very quickly and my sister knew the end was coming. Hospice was there with her every step of the way. My other sister, Tracy, and I were there by phone on and off during these past few days. Christal and her family were with her at the end. Thank God. It was exactly what mom wanted. She will be cremated and divided between the three of us. I spent some time today looking at urns. I am planning to go up to RI for the memorial mass at St. Ambose in mid to late January.

This past week Bob, Ariel, Dane and Jackie (family friend) have been working on a song for my mom - an ancient Welsh lullaby. Rather than mail it on a CD as originally planned, I emailed it to my sister to play for mom off her laptop. It is all a part of this past spiritual, snowy, sad, beautiful weekend . . .

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gross Picture / Stupid Award / Hip Replacement Recovery

Okay, I have to confess that on Tuesday I did the most stupid thing a human can do with dry ice. It came in a cooler in a Christmas present of fabulous food for Christmas dinner. I have been requiring huge amounts of ice for the ice packs on my hip, so using the dry ice seemed like a good idea, wrapped well. Well . . . We thought it was wrapped well. Several minutes after the pack was on my thigh, the numbness seemed to be greater than normal ice numbness. When I removed the pack I had a patch of frostbite with the skin so hard you could knock on it like wood. All the feeling was gone, and my skin was as white as snow. Bob ran back and forth from the bathroom with warm towels and the white skin warmed up in about 10 minutes. I was left with an oval of very red skin that was numb, but felt like cactus needles around the edges. Big ouchies.

Within an hour my skin was starting to blister. I called the nurse on call and she told me to call the Dr. in the morning if there were any changes. And there were changes. The small blisters were now one BIG blister. I got an appointment for Thursday afternoon. By then it was the size of a baseball. Disgusting, freaky and filled with yellow who knows what. He said to just let it be, and that it would begin to leak on its own. A natural part of the healing process. . . Gross. Nasty. Something from a horror movie!!!

So, Friday night I took a picture of it. Today, it has begun to leak. Thank God for industrail medical bandaging. I will change the dressing later tonight after I summon up the courage to look at it again. I feel better because the pressure has subsided and my leg doesn't feel as tight as it did. It certainly as been a hurdle in my recovery.

So, yes, I have received the award for the stupidest thing to do during hip replacement recovery. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Random Thoughts

There were no trick or treaters at the hotel on Halloween night.
I dream of resucing a fluffy little lap dog who needs a home.
I am about to schedule my hip replacement surgery and I am scared.
Six weeks after my hip surgery I will have knee replacement surgery.
On payday I will send all my creditors $5.00.
Last night I watched "Grapes of Wrath" for the 25th time. It still makes me cry.
I have no gold to cash in.
Today I will finish reading THE RED TENT by Anita Diamant.
Fall has usually been a bad time of year for me emotionally, but this year so far so good.
Fall is my favorite season of the year.
Today I have $2.34 in my checking account.
I wish I had room for my rocking chair in my bedroom.
I am grateful for everything that I have today, and at this moment.
I wish I lived closer to my sisters and their families.
My mother is being moved from the nursing home to my sister's house to die there.
I am trying to working on making art more often. I would like to sell my art but can't decide how to begin doing that.
I am so proud of my two children that I cry with love when I think about them.

Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them. --- Albert Einstein

Monday, September 21, 2009

Enough Slacking

I should have been writing all this time . . . so much I should've written about and now it's all pent up inside the merury retrograde mess that is happening now. Jeeeeezzz. And I missed talk like a pirate day on September 19th too. Stay tuned for many new posts.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Adult Orphans Club

My friend Liz shared this bit of reality with my, that she got from a rabbi. This is indeed what happens when both parents die. My mom is so sick right now she can hardly breathe as we talk on the phone. My sister and husband and 2 children from Virginia will be visiting her this weekend. Mom will be having a PET scan when the hospital can schedule her in. This will reveal scar tissue, fluid in her lungs or another cancer tumor. Time will tell.

Ariel and Dane are helping me move to my new space in Arden on Sunday - Mother's Day! I will take them for lunch after that - or drinks. Yay for kids!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Got my car fixed!

Finally, got it fixed. I couldn't drive another day with the sound of fury and horror coming from the muffler system. As it turned out, with the grace of the car gods, it only needed a flexible connector thing - not a whole muffler! I love this miracle car. And now I cruise through my new neighborhood quietly. Yay for Meineke Men!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What is it like?

What is it like to not have a mother anymore? My mother is in the hospital again, this time with a heart problem. Sitting outside tonight looking up at the stars makes me extra thoughtful. I wonder if a star disappers from the sky when someone dies? What does it feel like to be without a mother? All of a sudden my origins would be gone - since my father died many years ago. I would be on my own. The heartstring that connects us would be broken. I am the next generation to die after mother dies. My mortality is standing right in front of me. I am thankful that I still have two sisters, and two children. Perhaps I will find a companion to share the rest of my life with.

I am in a progress mode. I have a to-do list everyday, and I get things done. I have a new job. I have a new checking account. I found a place to live in Arden ( ) that I will be moving to next month. I fixed the disengaged rear view mirror in my car. I finally feel like I can do things with joy. I will have relationships again. People around me to share life with. I am useful and able at my job. I am truly grateful for that, and everything that I have right now. Everything.

Maybe the universe is settling me in to prepare me for my mother's death. I will be grounded and able to process it.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Today - The Possibilities!

I have a job. A real job. Not a non-profit job. It took me a long, long time to think about a change of career from arts administration to something. I have applied for hundreds of jobs over the past two years, and nothing. Networking, job fairs and all the things one is supposed to do resulted in nothing. I came back to Delaware to be near my kids. Family, love, important things in life. Then, an opening occured at the hotel that my son works at. . . I did the online application and got an interview in just a few days. Several days after that, I was offered the job. The key was in my own backyard.

Outside this morning with my coffee, for a few moments, I had a feeling I used to get as a kid . . . early morning, spring, Saturday, stepping out the back door with all the world in front of me to explore. Play clothes, clean white socks, new Red Ball Jets on my feet . . . no fear, just innocent wonder. Crisp cool air, blue sky, wispy clouds, birds everywhere, fifty cents in my pocket for the ice cream man later in the day. Off to find friends playing in my neighborhood. An extraordinary feeling of energy, protection, goodness, love and possibilities.

All I can say is "Thank you."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Landed Again

Have been back in Delaware for 10 days, and it seems like only a few. I have landed at my friend Valerie's home - she is an angel on earth. I've discovered several since I've been here. . .

Between applying for jobs, I have been reconnecting with my kids. This is the biggest joy I've felt in a long time, and my heart feels like it can love again. It's been a long and winding road over the past two years, and I have to believe my time to settle in and have a life has come. I have simplified my belongings once again and ready for all the good things to flow. I will know in a few days about a promising job. Not a lot of money, and not very challenging, but a steady paycheck and incentive for benefits if all goes well. I think the hospitality industry might be a great career move for me. We'll see.

I stopped to get coffee and a bagel yesterday morning and the person in front of me paid for my breakfast! The person in front of him paid for his. He was paying it forward. . . I looked behind me and this woman had a mountain of grocery type stuff. I felt sad for a moment that I couldn't pay for hers. However, I stopped to thank the universe for this unexpected gift! I felt worthy of something wonderful.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Countdown to Vegas!

In 48 hours I will be on the plane to Vegas! Just being in a warm place is very exciting for me. I am so tired of winter and cold. I wish I had a bunch of money to take with me, but such are the times we are in . . . no matter . . . there's tons of stuff to look at and take photos of and listen to and smell and touch (things, not other people) that I am certain I will end each day with sensory overload. Cool. I am ready. I am packed. Salon on Thursday for an Emergency Hair Repair (the blonde is too brassy in certain spots, and some of my roots are still showing, and it needs cutting) and I am good to go. Yay, Las Vegas.

Monday, March 02, 2009

I've Been Upgraded

I am now officially blonde.

I Am Shrinking!

When I can't reach things, I am reminded that I am short. I am getting shorter -- shrinking! I used to be 4' 10". Now I am 4" 9". This is weird, but normal, but also not helpful.

When I was a kid, I always dreamed about having a house that was proportionately built for me - small, with little counters and cabinets and stairs and all the things in it were proportionately small too - the dishes, the flower vases, the rugs . . . everything. I suspect it was from going to places like Storyland where the Gingerbread House or the Three Bears House was small and I fit so nicely. I still dream about having that little house. Well, anyway. I am shrinking.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Miss My Dad

As part of my leaving, I decided to venture out today and visit my dad's gravesite at Riverside Cemetery. Since the gates are kept closed, I had called to make an appointment. I stopped at the caretaker's (Polly) house to pick up the map, and we ended up talking for an hour. She was wonderful. Fourth generation in the cemetery business, and in this incredible victorian house with amazing antiques.

She told me that there was still a $100 balance due - his gravesite was not yet paid for. I felt sick. And embarrased. I wrote her a check immediately and thanked her for not charging 37 years worth of interest. . . . There is also no gravestone. She gave me the application for the Veteran's Administration so I could have a marker made free-of-charge. The $100 fee to set it in place isn't due until the marker arrives at her office. It can take a year to get it.

So, I made my way through the tiny winding roads. Stopped to take some photos of a beautiful larger-than-life angel on someone's gravestone, and finally found the location of my dad. I knew there was no stone or marker, but Polly did tell me there was a boulder marking the site where he is, plus two others next to him that have been reserved, and she gave me the names on the boulders on either side of him on the map. It is a beautiful location on the top of a hill overlooking the Blackstone River. I remember that we rode in a huge black limo. It was a military funeral. Taps was played, the flag was folded (which my mother doesn't seem to have) and there were gun shots. I hadn't been back to his grave in 37 years because I couldn't find it and I was never in town long enough to connect with the cemetery folks.

So, how on earth could my mother in good conscience all these years leave that bill unpaid??? I am certain there is no good answer to that question. We (my sisters and I) understood that she was a grieving single mom and probably couldn't afford the gravestone. It never occured to us that we could have had it made. I guess we though it was something sacred she should do out of respect for him. That always made me sad. And today, finding out that his grave wasn't paid for in full makes me even sadder. But I paid it and I feel extraordinary about that. I love it when the pathway is so clear to "do the right thing." Anyway, it's done. Another check box on my "things to take care of in life" list filled in.

P.S. I wanted to bring something to put on his grave. I couldn't buy anything, so I left my Superman standing up in a little hole in the ice. My dad was superman to me, so this is fitting.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Domain

I have my own domain name now! How fun is that. It is under construction and will be launched in a week or so. The purpose is to display and sell my paintings and who knows what could happen. . . Stay tuned.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Valentines Day Observation

I was in the store this morning, and waited on a student who wanted to ship a Valentines gift to his girlfriend in St. Maarten. While I was clicking things to get started, he was calling her to get her address. (Yes, really.) He wrote it down. I got to the part where I had to fill in her name, and he said "Anna." "Last name?" "I don't know how to spell it. It begins with an L. It's Russian." "Is she a new girlfriend?" "No, we've been together for three years and I gave her a promise ring." Without taking a moment to do an inner evaluation of what I was thinking, I said "If you love her you should know how to spell her last name!"

Come on, people . . . are you kidding me???

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yoga in the Wind

Tonight it is veeerrryyyy windy and 43 degrees. It feels like spring is starting to rumble. Thank you for that . . . I have been over my head in snow for the last few months and ready for warmth. All kinds of warmth, if you know what I mean. I've had a cold for several days and it is almost gone. I just stood outside on the deck to ingest the beautiful wind and let it carry the germs away. Yoga to open things up.

I love being outside at night. The stars, the wind, the sounds, the smells. At 3am it is most remarkable. I can feel the sun starting to rise and the morning beginning. Just standing out there and being a speck in the masterful universe gives me this crazy and amazing feeling of a connection to life that is way bigger than I am - but it is a safe connection. That feeling has kept me alive for the past 2 years. I know that I have a bizarre artist perspective on things, and I've been told I see and understand things that other people don't because of my artistic "vision." Maybe so - but I love standing in the wind looking at the stars. It gifts me with inspiration for paintings.
Bottom line: In this next chapter of my life I will be embracing my "vision" and my "passion."

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Did It.

Finally told my sister I was moving out. She cried, I cried. We talked about what I needed to do and I talked about what I was going to miss. We agree to have sister get away weekends a few times a year, and hope that our other sister will come too. Life is changing for everyone. My hope is rising again and this time I'm putting up a firewall. . .

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Doors of Wonderment

This afternoon I told my mother that I was moving back to Delaware, and gave her the basics. Was I surprised! She didn't even cry. I did. She said she knew 2 years ago that I might not be here permanently, and she definitely understood wanting to be near my kids. She thanked me for getting her through her cancer and other events and said she couldn't have done it without me. The doors of wonderment are opening . . .

Monday, February 02, 2009

An Interesting Week Ahead

Tomorrow I am going to see a Bankruptcy Lawyer for an evaluation. Then I have to find a way to tell my sister and my mother I am moving away -- back to Delaware. Then I have to ask my other sister to help me finance the move. This should be a fun and interesting week . . .

Friday, January 30, 2009

My Next Move

Well, I've spent a year applying to be a photo lab tech, a sub shop morning prep person, various administrative minions, and many other things. I have not been successful --- I think primarily because my resume is full of arts stuff and nobody, and I mean NOBODY that I have met in my job pursuit understands that I have a huge list of skills embedded in my job and life experiences, even when I met with them. I suspect something about me just says "artist." I suppose the reality is that I would have to put on my resume I CAN TYPE, I CAN DRIVE A CAR, I CAN SPEAK ENGLISH AND COMMUNICATE CLEARLY, I CAN ANSWER A PHONE . . . These past two years have been one big job dead end in the state with the highest unemployment rate. I will add that many people have said to me "things happen for a reason" and maybe being here taking care of my mother's needs was the real reason I never found a job. I needed to be available to her.

Now, I have done what I came to RI to do. . . take care of my mother as she went through and recovered from her lung cancer. She is now back in the running with a clean bill of health. So - I read this article on NYT about taking care of aging parents and how the burden should be shared after the crisis, and I am ready to share. My first step is telling my sisters and this will take courage as I override my weakenss of wanting to please others first. Whatever the case, it is time to try again to rebuild my life somewhere else. Over the next week or so I will tell them. Then, I will tell my mother. That will be hard too, but in a different way.

Time to move on!
More later.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thoughts With Mittens

I was so cold last night I slep with mittens on . . . Since I'm not contributing to the well being of the pellet stove or oil heat I can't say anything. It is a penance for not having my own life. Tonight begins the realignment. Clean my room, rewrite my resume and hit the streets tomorrow looking for jobs again. Finish the design work for the UPS Store, and turn some attention back to making art. Thank you, Ariel, for the Irish mittens!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Will Not Panic and I Don't Need a Cupcake

So done with the PGMC gig. Mutually beneficial and a relief from being inside a culture I don't fit in, with no tools to get it done. Time for me to raise personal money, anyway!! Alas, also no more hours at the UPS Store except a few design hours here and there. Back to the center of the circle . . . I imagine my toe at the tip of that yellow brick that begins the journey on the yellow brick road. But wait, that leads to "there's no place like home." I'll have to think more about that . . . a lot more.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Here It Comes . . . The List

The list of shit that is happening today: My hours have been cut from the UPS Store. I heard the rumor that I will not be asked back in February to the contract fundraising job with the Providence Gay Men's Chorus (will resign before I am fired, damn it), BOTH Helen's wrists are broken, I do not have enough money in my bank account to cover the creditors automatic payments I've done so well with for the past 4 months, I melted my new glasses with nail polish remover trying to remove the rest of the color after I accidently sat a cotton ball full of nail polish remover next to them, my sister gave my hair a makeover that turned out to be a terrible reddish brown - with the new glasses (that WERE black) I looked like Velma from Scooby Doo. . . All of this is actually kind of funny when I read it. . . Maybe if I clean my room the universe will get back in order again?

Geriartric Medical Events

Today, instead of going to work I had to take my mom for her every-6-months CT Scan. If I have to insist one more time that she actually USE the oxygen while she's walking, I will cry. She has a capital M for Martyr on the front of every outfit, and I am tired of it. She makes life harder by trying to conserve her oxygen, by not having her phone with her, by giving orders instead of asking . . . and a lot of other things no where near the realm of being caring or a nice person. I believe it is not only part of her, but part of getting old too. Mistaken thinking. . . I took her to the test because Helen (my sister's mother-in-law) fell today while unhooking Bailey's leash on the icy patio. No broken bones, just sprained wrists, it seems. A series of unfortunate events happens here A LOT. Christal was going to take mom to her medical event, but stayed home to nurse Helen - since she is actually a nurse, and I am not. I feel terrible, but I am at the point of seeking the boundaries: When is enough, enough? When is old, old? When is it time to call it quits if you want to, and why isn't there an accessible, legal way to do this? When your life is totally filled with Doctor's appointments and medical events, what is the point? Just a reminder: if and when I get to that point ( No -- before! ) I will climb a small mountain and tie myself to a tree.

I apologize for continuing to express my concern for my karmic bank account but I need to move on at some point! When? Am I just waiting to save the money, or is it more about the people now?? And what is the definition of Peace anyway??