bennington, vt.

Friday, December 31, 2010

at the end of a year?

Jack, Pepper, and friend

In the New Year . . .
Look back,
Look forward,
Just don't stand there like a statue.

Happy New Year 
be happy, be healthy,
and no matter how crazy your family makes you . . .
remind them all
you love them. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

All the year is Christmas-tide

Warmest wishes
to you and yours 
for a safe and happy holiday

Friday, December 17, 2010

a large rabbit-hole under the hedge

"I don't recommend falling down an open manhole."

My best friend, would look at me with a cocked eye brow and a suspicious look and ask, "and why would you say that?!"

(Sorta like she did when I commented, I didn't know garden snakes had teeth.")
But, that's another story

Going on, I also don't recommend falling down one in the middle of a woods, where NO one walks this time of year . . . except yours truly.

First good snow, and I would finally get to walk the dogs down the deer path through the woods across the street.  (Too brambly otherwise.)

deer path

and not
much of
a woods
Halfway through the woods, I suddenly stepped into air . . . and dropped.  I found myself up (down?) to my armpits in a manhole--legs swinging, feet finding no foot hold, fingers grasping at snow and and brush.

Scratching and clawing I finally pulled myself up.  As I thanked God, I looked over to see Jack in "full brake" mode and realized I had lost my end of his "flexi lead" and he had no intention of joining it in the "pit of despair."  (As luck would have it, it was not long enough to hit bottom, phew.)

After I dragged myself home, I called the City Public Works Dept., and explained the location of both open manholes, (yes another, only 10 feet away . . . really, I had options).  I figured it would be easy . . . "follow my tracks, when they stop, you are there!"  (There were NO other tracks, anywhere.)

2  hours later a call came requesting I show the guys . . . cuz they can't find em.

Apparently, the "dog walking" thing is what messed them up.  "Lady, people around here don't walk their dogs like this."  (Yeah, I know, out the door and back to poop and pee . . .and that's in good weather.)

2 burly City Workers trailed after me into the woods, they found the buried covers, replaced them, and then trailed after me back out.

My bruises are impressive.  The dark purple crescent moon arcing just under my left trochanter is spectacular.  My right knee is raised black witness to a meeting with the iron rim of the hole.

The right shin has some strange bruises I can't explain.  Raised reddish purple crosswise marks, that my Mother says look like the fingers of a hand print.  Sure, if the hand is the size of a pizza pan.

Alas the act itself must have looked like something from a "cartoon."

 Grace is not my middle name!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

show you the way

One year
In a few days, it will be the anniversary of the events that caused me to be here. 
My Father's fall and my Mother's stroke.
what road to take?
There were choices . . .
and this is the road I chose to take.
No one would have judged me badly if I had made another choice.
Steep, curving, and full of pot holes
I do not regret my decision
I knew it would be frustrating, lonely, and financially stressful.  I am not a martyr or a masochist . . . I am a healer, a nurse . . . and as my older Brother told me, "you are the heart of this family."
The times called for a decision
And so it was made, most did not like it, but all understood it.

It hasn't been easy, in fact it is often very difficult. 
Sometimes I feel as though I am not a member of the family. . . instead a servant or household slave, but these are fleeting occasions.

I ride my bike, (Michigan does have nice level roads), I am expanding my job experience, I'm getting to know my Mom as a friend, and I am spending quality time with family I only saw, maybe, once a year before.

Life is about the choices we make,
whatever the reason.

Friday, November 26, 2010

went so fast

My Niece, blue ribbon all the way.

set such a dish

 It was a good Thanksgiving

We were invited to my SIL's family's get together.  We were made to feel a part and loved.
I believe that is something to feel thankful for . . .
. . . and dessert is love!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

fighting for

Armistice Day

Dad . . . in uniform
out of uniform
on the home front

Korean War
My Uncle (Hi there!)

Canadian Quarters
Thank you to the lovely gentleman, (with Ontario plates),
who gave these to me- to give Dad
(He saw the WWII Veteran license plate on our car)
Thank you to All our Veterans

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

about the colour,

not a set-up, the tree really was blooming!

Well, that was last week, this Friday, they are talking snow.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the eighth square

Happy Birthday
Big Brother
the three of us

with our cousins, what bunch of tow-heads

I know I will see you again someday.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Magic words

Happy Halloween!

I've been told, it is not proper to dress for Church in your Halloween costume . . . especially when you are "The Reader."

as Sue Sylvester, in case you were wondering, since all I have to do is put on a track suit.  I may have to work on the witchiness, (might help if I actually watched Glee), but I already have everything else going!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I beg your pardon,

Pepper and Jack . . .cheesy . . . yeah, I know.

Mom, has communication issues after a rather devastating stroke 6 years ago.  With us, she becomes frustrated when trying to communicate, and with others, she rarely tries.

Then came Pepper and Jack
Pepper NEEDS attention . . . her method of drawing peoples attention to this need is to bat their arm or leg with a paw.  (It's a long story, but she thinks she's a cat.)  Not a good method, since she leaves bruises and scratches.

Jack on the other hand, can communicate paragraphs with a look or stare.  (He is very patient and none of this "Lassie" stuff for him.)  My family always found this weird that I KNOW what he is saying.

Then it happened, the day my Mom came to me and excitedly said, "Jack talks!"
She understood, completely, one of his looks.  Then she realized she understood ALL of his looks.

-Hmmm, the dog is able to communicate his wants and needs without speaking or writing, and you completely understand him?
-Yes, . . . Oh!
-Hmmm . . . he can't talk, can't write and you understand what he is saying . . . hmmm . . . imagine that, maybe a little patience . . . hmmm?

Lately, she has, she does, and she seems happier.
Thanks Jack.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

in the middle of one

They may never leave me to watch their cats . . .  ever again!

the kidnappers had harsh demands

the kidnappers were relentless and cruel
Hmmmm, what do you think?

There was a daring attempt to rescue them from "the terrierists," which was successful.  They are currently being debriefed, counselled and will soon be returned to their loving family.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Men have chests too
My older brother was diagnosed in October 1999.
lump/nipple inversion
Kudos to his Primary who immediately sent him for a mammogram and a consult with an Oncologist who also immediately acted.
Radical Mastectomy
Stage IV
3 months to a year--with chemotherapy.  He did it, but he swore he never would again,ever.
They begged him to try chemo again, NO, radiation only . . . which weakened his bones.
They promised the chemo was better and not as awful . . . he tried it again, but in January 2004 we realized the poisons were killing him rather then the cancer.
He just wanted to see his 50th birthday.
He continued on oral drugs.
November 2006 he turned 50, I called to wish him a Happy Birthday and tell him I was coming out for Christmas, but because of my job and the holiday it would be December 2007.
February 2008
I talked to him Monday, and he told me what I needed to do with my car to get it fixed, (he was still doing chores about the house).
Tuesday the Doctor told him no more travelling . . . he'd wanted to take his wife to Hawaii, (he'd asked if I would come along and help).
Wednesday evening his wife called to tell me he was failing, (the Hospice Nurse was upset, because she was going on vacation the next week and she wouldn't be there for them).  I told my SIL that I HAD to get the car fixed the next morning, but as soon as it was I would let her know what I had found for flights.
Thursday I called to say I would be flying out the next morning and would relieve her at night so she could sleep.  She told him, (comatose), that I was coming.

She called me back to say he was gone.  She believes he left so fast because I was the one person he would have stayed for.  I would never have asked that.
He still looked like a bouncer for a Biker Bar.
6 foot 2 - 300 lbs
He rode a Harley
He had Breast Cancer 
He LIVED 9 years past a diagnosis of Stage IV
When I go for my Mammogram, I always list brother under close relatives diagnosed.  The Tech. questioned it once saying:  We meant BREAST cancer!
It happens more often then most Doctor's even think. 
It can be passed on to their Children, just like with women.