Archive for November, 2014

A Few Days of Newness: Steep Learning Curves are Exhausting

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 22, 2014 by drycreekherbs

So now I realize I haven’t written since my return from Mexico…in my dullish life, things will now and again get real interesting. Not always in a good way.

I am looking at my calendar. In the past 18 days I have attended two book club meetings, mah jongg, a November birthday soiree, volunteered, went to San Antonio, had three doctor appointments, mortar and tile cleaned, had a sleep study, hosted a soiree for 35 women with a fashion truck here, and made two visits to see Foy, etc. I must like to be busy. My college roommate, Becky, used to say this about me: “Busy, busy, busy.” Yup. I think I am running from something. FOR EXAMPLE: Last night I had my recurring dream of looking for something or some way back. Last night I had lost keys and a missing car while visiting Belinda at Sunshine Cottage. Usually I am trying to find my way back to a familiar place in a foreign country. I don’t mind these dreams.


Yvonne and I, the November birthday girls, were feted (correct?} at the monthly birthday event at The Gin in Belton. Dang it was a good time. Patsy and Jackie outdid themselves. They arranged for a private room so I could hear. We told lots of ridiculous stories and I shared the late Jay’s theory on the sizes of Japanese’s penises. Too many plurals. I ought not to drink. The long and short of it, no pun intended, we had a great time and laughed to the pee point.

I am not really a fan of November. There are too many must do things and I seems to just barely hang on. December is a mirror image…plus I am usually testy and blue. Len has his surgery December 1, Susan and Bill in town on the 4th, Happy Hour here on the 5th, Yvonne and I are managing the December birthday lunch on the 11th, Katie’s baby shower will be here on the 13th, I am reviewing the Book Thief for the Killeen Book Club on the 16th, and those are just the biggies. It will all work just fine and in January can savor it all.

I am going to try to only put one space after periods. It is time I grow and keep up. I have muscle memory and may fail at this endeavor.

Foy is seemingly happy whiling away his days in rehab. He is completely undone over the phone that does not ring like a normal phone. He’s having no part of new age rings. I’ve worked out a system of getting him messages but I don’t like it and I don’t know that he gets it…I did find paper messages from me to him yesterday in his room….it is not knowing if he reads them or remembers the content that bothers me. So. When I went in yesterday afternoon, I found him napping and immediately noticed a whopper of a beat up, bloody cauliflower ear. After he awakened, I waited in the lobby while he ‘freshened’ up we enjoyed a great 1.5 hour visit. Foy’s story: He fell in the restroom; he did not go to the ER; he didn’t want to go; he had stitches. He said it was nothing. OK.

Over the years (since 1979), our conversations have been very Doris Day/Rock Hudsonesque. Lots of banter –but these days we are down to the bottom line. We spoke frankly about what he wanted…most of the conversation was exploratory….like maybe this would work or maybe this. He seems more content with relocation either in Waco or Corpus Christi, possibly selling his house, possibly downsizing, and so on. I am much relieved that he isn’t anxious, fretful, and combative. I am prayerful that we all either settle in to the inevitability or get to slip out of this world easily and without burdens. I am an optimist. He’s asked me to get him some snacks and told me where to look for his reading glasses. I relayed the information to Burt, his brother.

Len just came in to say he’d just had the best shave of his life! Jack Black shaving cream. I am going to see if I can get him to grow a soul patch. I mean it, why the hell not?

Back to Foy. I am going to try to visit every week or more if I can…it is about an hour north of here. I need to get hold of some of his Temple High friends so they can visit…he said it wasn’t a secret that he was there….Also he said he can stay there perhaps for 80 days…this will help Burt make decisions about his residential care. Foy believes there is a Retired Teacher’s Home in Waco….I don’t know that there is…but he likes the idea of taking his own ‘stuff’ with him.


On Thursday I had my sleep study at SW. I am never prepared for anything. Ever. I went over about 7:30 pm….it was fascinating and BIG….lots to synthesize. Millions of colored wires attached to me…it was like a Holiday Inn Express room. Barebones but not like a hospital room. I was treated to an Ambien…I liked it and now I have a prescription. I am good at not abusing drugs – I have 30…I don’t want to be someone who wakes up in Idaho without any recollection of how I got there…oh, and maybe in bed with Johnny Depp. That part could work except I think he is short. I guess short is ok if he isn’t Japanese…that cracks me up. I posted CPAP stuff on Facebook because I live a transparent life and I guess I’m needy. I heard from tons of chums who also have a CPAP. I am betting this could be a whole new network for me…CPAP users—possibly there is a conference at the Bell County Expo center…Like the Jehovah Witness Weekends.


So, after the sleep study I met with my very nice doctor…who said, there could be no negotiating, I have to use a CPAP. I really tried to squirm out of it. He said I had 79 no breaths in an hour…I said let’s put that into a grade from A to F. He said F-. I went in and washed my hair with hospital soap, akin to Janitor in a Drum to get the electrode paste off my scalp…went to the hospital supply place for the CPAP from hell….and matching chin strap…so I look like Hannibal Lecter….I haven’t used ‘my device’ yet…possibly tonight. The training done by a young, handsome veteran was also pretty darned funny. I don’t know that I learned anything during the training. Anyway, after my ‘fitting’, I had lunch with L. then off for lab work at my favorite Salado lab. I was really looking forward to it because I would be seeing Victoria. She did all my labs during my chemo.

I was called in by another tech. I asked if Victoria was there. Then I got a belly punch that knocked me into blithering tears. Victoria had a heart attack and died in October. She was 48-years-old. I couldn’t quit crying. For the record, I am crying again. Victoria was without exception the most pleasant, poised, positive, pretty, balanced KIND hospital person I have EVER known. I mean, we really liked each other. After my weekly labs were over, we would give each other compliments through Len’s visits. I just can’t believe this. She left two adult kids at Mary Hardin Baylor. All these years and I never knew her last name. I am figuring this out and getting a card to her family—more if I can. Let me say this, and maybe it is because I am completely off my serotonin reuptake inhibitor, citalopram—but this just breaks me in two. I WILL LEARN from this….her gift of kindness and goodness. I WILL give back. I WILL TRY NOT TO ACT LIKE OLIVE KITTERIDGE. All of this then a visit with Foy that made me feel human again. This is all sounding pretty damned manic.

I am dropping this line of thinking. I will hone in on the Fashion Truck event. I invited 52 women—34 responded yes, 31 attended. It was great, I think. Granted it was lots of work even with store-

screenshot invitation.pngbought goodies. In my opinion, Buckee’s stuffed (cream cheese & jalapeño then wrapped in bacon) pork loin was the best. The young sisters are feisty and amazing entrepreneurs…I am glad they did well….They gave me a 30% discount for hosting the event. We also decided we want to run around together. My buddies seemed much more interested in purchasing than I expected…I guess it might be good for Christmas shopping. It was a good time and I think the gals appreciated the event. IMG_1962.jpg

OK, it is time to get to Temple for groceries and Katie’s baby shower planning. I will attach photos when I get home tonight. Also I am pumped to make the Chicken Chili recipe Barbara gave me. I’m statuesque, according to the fashion girls (hahah) and I am starving. Must have food soon. I prefer svelte. I will be losing 20 pounds.

PS I just tried out the CPAP…I am pissy about it. At first I felt like a helium balloon then when I turned it off I felt like my lungs had collapsed. This will definitely take practice.


If I Don’t Write Tonight I Will POP: In Dire Need of a Catharsis or Is It Purging?

Posted in Out and About with tags , on November 10, 2014 by drycreekherbs

B86ABDCC-8BDB-49B1-AB94-BC1DCD30B0E5.jpeg IMG_0166.JPG IMG_1785.jpg

I have been home two days and of those two days, I slept 12 hours and volunteered at the hospital for four hours….so little time for an after-action review.

I will be making Korean Lettuce Wraps like Barbara ate at La Aurora or my version, anyway. I coveted her lettuce wraps.



I hate trying to extract each bit of minutia – because I probably don’t have the ability and will it make a difference? The flight to BJX was greatly improved as AA is flying clean, new airbuses…and I received an upgrade. I am determined to use up my AA segments before they change the rules. This can happen at any time. I think there is software that finds new angles to gyp frequent flyers. Must consider how paranoid that sounds! AND on the way home, the flights from DFW were delayed 4 hours…so David, Alex, and I had two meals and good visitation at the BJX airport. When I finally made it to DFW, I had missed all flights to Killeen so I spent the night at the airport Hyatt—comfortable and verrrrrry expensive.

I am very taken with young Alex Stone, David Stone’s son. He is 37 and his own man. I like meeting adult children of people I know but not their kids. This sentence makes

IMG_1672.jpgIMG_1677.jpgNO sense. It is like when I finally met Jackie’s twins and Barbara’s Michalel. It is a new big dynamic. I shared a van with them to SMdA.

Barbara came in later in the day – Babs and I stayed on what I think is the northwest side of town…Organos 5…pronounced like the organ liver. The modernish house was very central and only 3 blocks from the Jardin. This was a very nice, eclectic house, albeit dark. The off site owners may be Canadian…we shared the property the last two days with a couple renting the attached casita. I barely laid eyes on them. Precious Dennis and Gay came out of retirement to be our off site hosts….they were/are perfect.



IMG_1943.JPG IMG_0170.JPG

I will make myself crazy trying to sequence the events so I will clump all together by category!   Camie knows no limits….how is it possible to keep upgrading the DOD tour? We had lots of new things to do…and the few oldies but goodies, Barbara and I just skipped. We did not go to the sugar market, the pilgrimage to the Panteon, La

IMG_1764.jpgGruta, church, nor the field trip to the country. We did our own outing to the artesan market and shopping in general in the Centro, IMG_1756.JPG organic market and well, any where they sold things and we were present…We went with the tour to different casas for comidas….all the houses were spectacular with magnificent catering. Open bar….always popular, and the face painting/altar-building/mariachi band/mojijanga event was just plain over the top wonderful! Oh, we went to a Sazon cooking class with the Sierra Nevada’s chef! It was the best yet…we all were able to participate and we were introduced to some new techniques and food items (corn smut). Gay and Dennis took us to visit the mask museum at the Casa de la Cuesta B&B. It appears to be the top rated B&B or waaaaay up there. This is was some kind of impressive mask museum.

Soooo, we had many new experiences and all grand. Jewelry and blouse shopping, divine food and drink, and maaaaaarvelous visits with old and new friends. What’s not to like?

IMG_1702.jpgIMG_1900.JPG IMG_1892.jpg


Foy suffered from one stroke and probably several TIAs leading up to the stroke. I can’t say enough about the care that his hosts provided as well as Camie and Larry, et al. Foy was understandably reluctant to give in to waning health but at several events he required assistance and care….EMS….etc. It was always frightening and he was always unwilling to take advice. His traveling days are done. We didn’t know if he could make the flight back to Texas but he did make it with the assistance of the airline and another tour member was on the same flight. I know she didn’t want that responsibility. I am realllllllly abbreviating all that surrounded his ‘spells’ in SMdA. He has now finished three days at Hillcrest Hospital in Waco and moved to a rehab center for the next 20 days. He will not like this. I spoke with Doris, his sister in law from Corpus Christi, today. The doctors say Foy can no longer live alone. His brother, Burt, will be moving him to assisted living or a nursing home in Corpus Christi. My heart breaks. Really breaks. Effectively, I’ve lost Lolly and now Foy. I feel like I should recount each episode but it somehow seems wrong and it stings too much. This is what happens. I’m cried out and empty. I think I am getting to the front of THE LINE and it doesn’t feel good.


What have I learned? Keep having estate sales, maintain my MedJet membership, go like crazy; laugh like a loon, speak up about perceived bull shit, and love up on my dear family and friends. Dance during good weather, beg God to make you some kind of moderate Moonie, and possibly relocate during summer.

Photos will just have to be stacked because there are so many and I want to edit but just not enough time to make me look like Betty Grable. I think I am Olive Kitteridge.

I have to go to bed. Every single night of my life Len asks me what time I want to get up and it is a loaded question. He and Diego take it as a personal challenge to wake me up with lots of enthusiasm . Tomorrow I hit the road early for SAT. I am glad Len takes such loving care of me.