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Category Archives: pamily
Dad had cataract surgery last week. The recovery wasn’t quite as smooth as we anticipated but the healing continues.
I spent some time in his room at the retirement home with him and there is this high-pitched whining sound that goes on for extended lengths of time.
I finally asked Dad if it bothered him but whatever the frequency is, his hearing is gone. When the nurse came by for the covid check she made a face: “What is that noise?”
She poked around trying to figure out its source. (I think it has to do with water use upstairs.)
Dad said, another care worker at the retirement home heard the noise and sent maintenance and the maintenance guy couldn’t hear anything.
The nurse said: “Maybe we can get one of his younger helpers who hasn’t had his ears blown out by working around heavy machinery come up here and listen.”
I laughed because Dad also worked around heavy machinery. As of right now, there is no resolution.
Once or twice a day Dad likes to take a lap around the retirement home and he feeds nuts to the squirrels. As soon as we appeared the squirrels scampered closer.
Dad had emptied the storage pouch on his walker because we were getting it in and out of the car for our doctor appointments so sadly we had nothing for the critters.
Meanwhile, they were following along the path.
Every time I stopped to take a picture they would run closer. I repacked a supply into the walker for next time.
This is from 2002 when Erin ran with the torch. Photo Credit: Aunt Aileen.
Today we are married 24 years. I’d post a more recent photo but I can’t find a good one right now.
This belonged to my grandfather’s father on my mom’s side. I had the original for a short time and scanned it.
I’m tempted to research these people and transcribe all the pages but don’t want to get sidetracked from other projects I need to take care of today.
G-Gpa was in Orleans, CA. Weitchpec is downriver on Yurok rez. Catameen, now more familiarly spelled Katamin, is upriver where the Salmon River meets the Klamath. It is a ceremonial place known as the center of the world.
I should probably put this as a table but I’m too lazy. My best guess at transcribing:
June 8, 1927
Pd to Mrs. Dr. Domingo Weitchpec
on deposit in advance $20.00
Cost of this Mem. Book .10
Stamped Envelopes .55
Writing Tablet .30
June 8th. Trip in Ford to Weitchpec
with Philip Donahue to hire
Medicine Woman Mrs. Domingo
June 21. Trip in Ford to Weitchpec to see
Tommy Peters with P. Donahue
June 30. Trip to Catameen to get
Mrs. Fritz Hanson. Phillips
Mother & load things
June 30. Will Ferris makes trip
to Weitchpec to get Mrs. Domingo Dr. Pd. 5.00
June 28. Stamped Envelopes .55
That one tulip looks like its wiping its face. I thought about going back in and drawing eyes on it — but we have Creative Cloud and when I have Photoshop open my computer runs like it’s stoned so I hate using it. We’re going to give it up when Bob retires and I’ll learn to use something else which I’m sure will go smoothly.
Awhile back, one of the ladies at the retirement home good-naturedly told my dad that people were talking about him.
Later she told him it’s because he irons his jeans.
I shared this with colleague and he told me about a friend of his whose older dad likes good crease in his jeans.
This reminded me of once when I was in middle school, my grandma was staying with us and she ironed a gnarly crease in my jeans.
There was no way I was going to go to school and endure mockery on that scale and for middle school reasons, of course I wasn’t flexible enough to change my plans on what to wear.
I stood there at the ironing board, in my underwear, frantic to get out of the house, sobbing and furiously trying to get the crease out, blubbering with preemptive dread about the field day the kids at school would have with this nerd blunder.
Actually dork. That’s what I said to my grandma, “I’LL LOOK LIKE A DORK.”
She rescued me. She put a damp towel over the crease (a very specific detail I remember 40+ plus years later) and ironed it right out while gently tutting: I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.
I have a ton of flower photos but no energy to go through them and post right this second. I think the uncertainty in the world is a big drain. Not just me. It seems like lots of people I talk to.
Bob’s birthday was the 13th and I sort-of forgot about finding a gift for him. I panic shopped online and did a search for “gifts for people who like condiments” and I learned about the National Mustard Museum. I chose the staff favorites gift box — it was between that and the best sellers — and no one has ever appreciated a box of condiments more. We already tried the cranberry chardonnay and the champagne garlic honey. Delicious.
Bookmark the link. You never know when you might need to buy someone a Poupon U T-shirt.
Tele-commuting starting next week. We’ll see how it goes.
Dad is now styling in local retirement living.
He’s still getting settled and finding a new routine but we got him here.
But he was pretty tired so no late night tonight.
What’s in the hat box?
Hello friends. It’s that time again. The latest class of the Clarion West writing workshop moved into the house today.
A group of us will be writing at home while they are there and trying to raise money while we do it.
Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I wrote a post about my experience at the workshop last year and the year before. If I can think of anything fresh to say about it, I’ll write another one next week weekend.
My main goal for this write-a-thon was to re-work a short story about an NDN casino in space that I whipped up in a weekend in January 2017. I haven’t looked at the draft since.
I got it out this morning and the first 3/4ths are pretty good. It’s a fun idea with fun characters. The last 1/4th is a complete mess that makes no sense and doesn’t flow logically from the beginning. It’s like I passed out under a bridge and when I woke up I was forced to finish the story or face dire consequences so I wrote the ending of a different story.
It’s actually such a mess, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’ll poke around with it a little, at least a week or two, but I don’t want to waste a lot of time if I don’t see a way to fix it.
Then I need ideas for new goals:
1 – Finish the kayak story and submit. Completely doable.
2 – Figure out some system for all my bazillion ideas and scraps and research. If this was doable, I think it would be done by now but let’s put it out there.
3 – Do some idea storming and try to do the first draft of a completely new story. Not hot on this idea. I don’t know if I want to do a lot of short story writing at this point.
4 – Go through partial novel manuscript that I abandoned when I started writing romances and see if I can get a working outline. Possibly doable.
5 – TBD
I will report at the end of each week.
If you’re inclined to donate, my page is here.
I usually link to my classmates who are also write-a-thoning but as of this moment, none of them are. (FOR SHAME!) I’ve sent them a guilt trip so I may have some to add next week.
One of our workshop leaders is write-a-thoning and you can donate here: Neile.
Micro-donations are welcome. We love your support.
I included a photo of the elders, my mom and auntie – modeling their hats. They were grand marshals in the Orleans Old Timers Parade last weekend.
These are my daffodils in the backyard this minute. I don’t have any tulips yet and the tulips that are out there continue the trend over the last several years of looking pitiful. I’m sure there’s something I could do to remedy that but I don’t have the energy to figure it out right now.
I like to keep a string of multi-color holiday lights up in my room. In the winter I keep them on all the time. It’s a nice night light and I can hang out without having to turn on the overhead light.
Those lights are crazy cheap but also don’t last very long. This year as soon as they started to die I took them down. There was another string in the dining room and I brought those in and when I got them up and plugged them in, they didn’t work. Then the dragonfly lights died, too. It was like as soon as I unplugged one string every light in the house gave up. I threw everything away in a huff and I need to run by the craft store and buy more.
Mom’s party last week was super fun. The only photo I took the entire trip is the one above. If you like photostreams of people that you don’t know, Aileen posted photos here.
I’m still working my way back into productive writing. I’m always working but sometimes it’s a few steps back before I go forward again. I also finally dug out the tax stuff this weekend. The federal stuff is a breeze but Oregon makes me so furious I can hardly keep my brain from bursting out of my eyeballs. Bob can tell when I start doing it even from a distance. It’s difficult for me not to believe that Oregon tax form makers are the most passive-aggressive forkwits that like to punish nonresident tax payers. I could go on but I need to stay calm. Word count update next week.
I’m in CA celebrating. Hopefully photos of the main event when I return.
Here’s an update for anyone interested in what’s been going on with my family.
My dad had a hip replacement at the beginning of the month and was doing great with his recovery. Unfortunately, one day he misjudged the place where he was going to sit and he fell. He was taken to the hospital.
My folks live inland and the nearest medical facility is on the coast, about 90 miles one way.
I was off work for the holidays so I rearranged my holiday stuff and went to California to see what was going on. He didn’t have to do another surgery but he has to keep weight off of his leg for 4-6 weeks. When I got there he was still in the hospital but the next day he was released to adult physical rehab facility.
If you don’t know what that is, you should stop reading right now and wrap your arms around yourself and take a moment to be grateful. Chances are you will know someday, and you will yearn for this more innocent time.
While I was in CA we did several day trips to visit and then I spend several days in a motel and shuttled back and forth to the care center. Mostly to keep him company but also to help get situated and communicate with the staff on any issues that we wanted to bring to their attention.
The good news is that Dad is doing great with his physical therapy, getting more upper body strength to get in and out of the wheelchair, practicing walking with a walker using his good leg, and getting better mobility with both legs. The therapy staff is super terrific and seem to genuinely like working with Dad.
He had another X-ray while I was there and we were hoping for an Xmas miracle but unfortunately, no luck. The bad news is he’s stuck there at least another 4 weeks which was hugely disappointing.
During all this another family member had a health bloop but is recovering well. Also during this time my husband was moving his mother into assisted living. He stayed here while I was gone.
So, all-in-all it was a strange holiday season and not very holiday-ish with all the concerns.
BUT, we had a great meal with the extended family on Christmas eve and got a chance to celebrate being together. Then the immediate family went to spend Christmas day with Dad. The important stuff worked out.
I finally returned home on the 27th and it’s taken a few days to get back into the groove here. I plan to enjoy a lazy holiday weekend and then get ready to go back to work next week.
Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have a companion post about my trip down south.