2022/01/07

91

Da Goddess @ 01:32

Dad would’ve been 91 today. It’s strange to think he’s been gone almost four years. I miss him every day. There are so many things I want to ask him. Things I never thought to ask him while he was alive. But that’s always the way, isn’t it? We don’t know how much time we have with anyone and, if I could give you any life advice, I’d suggest you make the time to ask your loved ones as many questions as you can now.

I miss you, Dad. I miss you and I love you very much.

2021/12/12

2021– Day 346

Da Goddess @ 05:10

Forgive me, reader, for I have sinned. It’s been 92 days since I last posted.

I have absolutely no excuse for not posting other than the fact I just haven’t. Some depression, pain, pain AND depression, avoidance, and even a heavy pour of not feeling like anything I might post would be interesting.

I’m not sure how or why I’ve been so blasé these past few months beyond simply…life. I dunno. There are a lot of gray clouds in my head and they sometimes make it difficult to see beyond them.

More than “occasionally” I’ve found myself truly missing Mom. I’ll watch a show or a movie and think how much she would enjoy it. I start to pick up the phone to call her and then remember she’s gone. I still do that with Dad, too. He’s been gone 3.5 years and I do it. Mom’s only been gone since mid-July. How long does this go on? Anyone know?

ALSO: Every few days, I’ll wake up from some crazy dream, one where they’re still alive and everything is chaotic, perilous, and/or frightening. I’ll awaken and feel a bit shaken, but somehow also at peace because they were helping guide me/us (sisters, kids, friends, etc.) through whatever the crise cauchemardesque (crisis of/in the nightmare). I know it’s my brain trying to work through things. I get that part. And I understand the reason one or both parents are there, taking charge, doing parenty things. I don’t understand why it’s happening so regularly.

It’s frustrating to come to and have that sense of security, warmth, and love dissipate like steam from a cup of tea. You know, on a cold day, having that steam rise and warm your face as you hunch over the cup, both hands wrapped around it. At least you can nuke your drink and feel that rising heat if it gets too cold. You can’t do that with dreams. I mean, you can try to guide your dreams, but I can’t ever seem to get to just the part where I find comfort. Not on demand. Not without the stressful scenes. And I really want that.

I may need to call my therapist for a quick tune-up. In fact, I know I need to do so. I guess that’s the big ticket item on this week’s TO DO list. Happy happy joy joy.

2021/07/19

2021 – Day 200 – There She is Gone

Da Goddess @ 02:50

I will love you always, as I know you always have loved me. I will remember you forever, as you always remembered me. I will go forward with love in my heart and courage to face the unknown. Life continues, but it’s lost a little magic since you left this corporeal existence. I know your magic will find its way to another soul; that’s what you once told me happens when someone you love dies — everything good and kind and wonderful about them finds a new soul and returns to this realm. I believed you then and I believe it still. Your lessons stay learned. Well, most of them.

I was blessed to have you as my mother. You taught me how to find not and how to bring it to others. You taught me the beauty of wonder and how it’s so important to hold on to it, to share it, to encourage it, to keep it alive in your heart. You taught me to laugh, even when you most feel like weeping or when you’re scared. You were my home, both literally and figuratively. You were my True North and my home port, my first love. You were and always will remain my mom.

Love doesn’t end just because someone dies. Your love is in every sunset chased, flower noticed, in the laughter of a child, in the very air I breathe. You were made of stardust and to stardust you shall return until you find the next new spirit is borne into this world.

Thank you for your love and for all the light you shined upon us all. I will love you always, as I know you always have loved me. I will remember you forever, as you always remembered me. I will go forward with love in my heart and courage to face the unknown.

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says;
“There, she is gone!”

“Gone where?”

Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, “There, she is gone!”

There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout; “Here she comes!”

And that is dying.

~ Luther F. Beecher

Thank you for your love, my dear.

At around 0130 this early morning, she left us.

Vale, Mom.

2021/06/23

2021 – Day 174

Da Goddess @ 20:58

It’s been quite the day.

It all started last week. Mom was admitted to hospital with CHF/COPD problems. She’s still there. She’s had every kind of test one can imagine. But what she went in for isn’t necessarily why she remains there. You see, there’s a lot going on. Granted, you don’t reach almost-86 without a few problems, right?

Mom has cancer. She likely only has about six months left. She wants nothing more than palliative care and we’ve all agreed this is the right path for her.

Our family is pretty practical about this stuff. That’s how we were raised and those are the rules.

While I’m not ready to be without a mom, I certainly don’t want her suffering. So, I’ve made my peace with her decision and am going to do whatever I can to make sure she’s having as much fun as she’s hoping for, is as comfortable as possible, and gets to do what she wants as often as we can make happen.

Here’s a question for you: what ideas do you have for a dying 86yr old who’d like to be silly, laugh a lot, enjoy our first big family gathering since covid became a thing? Fancy dress (costume)? A movie “premier”? A M*A*S*H* party? Glasses with funny noses? A petting zoo? Gimme some ideas I can run past her, please.

Oh, and if you have an extra prayer or kind thought, could you send it my mom’s way? Thank you.

2021/06/10

2021 – Day 161

Da Goddess @ 00:08

My friend’s dog meows.

Yep.

Her dog meows like a cat. I heard it with my own two ears. Upon hearing it yesterday, I immediately enquired about the meow. I asked because I know for a fact that her wife is allergic to cats, so I knew it was likely just some loud neighbor kitty visiting at the door or something. “No cat. That was Molly. She’s really weird now.” I’ll say! When I dog sat for them years ago, Mol did NOT meow. She barked. Like your normal, average, everyday, common, garden variety dog.

That is no longer the case. This previously regular doglike dog is now a badass who sounds like a motherfucking cat.

And that’s pretty cool. I’ve demanded video so we can make her go viral and let her become a big doglebrity. I’m only asking 10% of her earnings. I’m not greedy. There’ll be plenty of cheddar to go around.

Anyone else have an animal capable of subverting societal expectations? I’m thinking we could have ourselves a pretty major double, triple bill for events.

Tell me what your animal does so I can work it into act.

2021/05/16

2021 – Day 136: 19 Years

Da Goddess @ 09:53

Are we who we think we are? Or are we who others think we are? Can both these perceptions exist simultaneously and both be equally true? If you know how others see you — and it gives you pause to reflect — does that invalidate what you thought of yourself? Or, if it changes how you see yourself, does THAT invalidate your previous view of who you thought you were? Should it? Should we then reconsider everything we thought we knew?

Is it possible for our actions to be purely received as we intended them, or is everything we do — regardless of our intent — completely at the mercy of how others perceive them?

These are the things running around my head at the moment.

I’ve been blogging for 19 years as of today. I guess I somehow thought I’d have a better idea of who I am and who I was at this point, but I feel I may never have any answers and I’m not sure if I want them any more.

Of course, I didn’t have any idea when I started this blog back in 2002 that I’d still be at it almost 20 years later. Hell, I didn’t have any idea I’d still be at it even two or three years ago. It makes me wonder if I should continue on; if I should make it a full 20 years of blogging; if I should take it up to May 16, 2023, which would be the end of my 20th year and call it quits then; or do I just keep on plugging away until my fingers seize up or fall off? I won’t make any decisions for now. I’m not in what anyone would call a prime decision making frame of mind at the moment. Have I ever truly been in that frame of mind?

Sometimes I don’t know if the me who started this blog is the same person who is currently writing this entry. I know both of us have inhabited the same body, but is that really all it takes to be the same person? I have no clue.

As I say almost every year, the only thing I know for sure is how much I value the people I’ve met through blogging. Each of you have left an imprint on my heart. Some have taken a bite of said organ, some have helped it grow, some have tried to rip it out and stomp it in to oblivion, and some have returned time and time again to help patch up what’s been bitten, beaten, torn, and bruised. You who have helped me grow, who have nursed me back from the brink of disaster, you are the ones I like best. Obviously. Feel free to tell the others. I won’t deny it. (If you were my children, this would be an entirely different conversation.)

Speaking of nursing, can you believe I was still a nurse when I started blogging? That seems a lifetime ago! It definitely seems like it’s, at least, been half a lifetime ago.

Little Dude was just four or five, and Mojo was eight or nine. Now? They’re grown and off on their own journeys of self-discovery, exploration, adventure, mundanity, heartache, heartbreak, recovery, triumph, and, hopefully, fulfillment and contentment. Instead of the precious, fragile little beings I once held close and fussed over every breath or cry or sigh or laugh, I have to remind myself they’re now capable of wiping their own bums, fixing their own meals (and mistakes, for that matter – steaks and mistakes, anyone?), determining their own lives. In the time since starting this blog, they’ve become fully formed people who no longer need me for, well, anything. It’s both sad and wonderful.

It’s the way the world works. Time passes; living things grow; living things die; we change; we do our best to get from one day to the next.

Using that particular lens, I can see I’m still me, just the older version of me; the me who has seen fire and seen rain (literally, at times); the me who has loved and lost and cried and laughed and LIVED. I don’t think I’d want to be the same exact person I was when I started blogging. Sure, there are some parts of this strange trip I might wish had gone differently, but I can’t say I’d want to have come through all of it and to not have changed in some way or another. I’d be crazy to not want to learn and grow along the way.

And so, with that in mind, I think I’m going to be okay with not knowing if I’m the me I think I am or if I’m the me you think I am or if I’m some mashup of the two. We can revisit this a year from now and see if I’ve miraculously found the answer. See you then?

2021/05/07

2021 – Day 127: Three Years & a New Loss

Da Goddess @ 15:55

Dad’s been gone three years now. I’m 100% aware of this, yet I still have moments when I almost forget. Almost. Just before I reach for the phone or think “he’d love this!”, I remember. Or the memory becomes less foggy. Either way, I have that incredible split second moment of him being alive again.

I know I’ll never stop grieving the loss. I know the edges of it will dull and the corners round off with time. I know this. I’ve done this before. Just never lost a parent before. Grandparents, sure. But they were old and th…oh yes. That’s right. I remember now. Dad was old, too. It just doesn’t feel like he was old in my heart and my heart calls a lot of the shots on such things.

I miss you, Dad! I love you and miss you and wish I had even five minutes more with you. Even if those five minutes were you yelling. I’d take it.

Dad

* * *

I’d meant to post this other news sooner, but I somehow managed to forget each time.

Jan from the Cascade Exposures blog, who also occasionally posted here, passed away in March. At the beginning of April, I texted her a link to a place I knew she’d want to explore. I didn’t hear back right away as I normally would. Odd. And then I woke up Easter morning to “This is Jan’s mom…” and I knew. I said a quick prayer that maybe she was just in hospital or something, but I knew. I just did.

I didn’t ask for details. I don’t know the exact day she died or the cause. I’ve just felt blessed to have known her and for her mom taking the time out of her grief to let me know her daughter was gone.

Jan had just retired after 30yrs at the same job. She’d loved it. But she finally had the chance to retire and she took it. With the pandemic, work was becoming a hassle with rotating team shifts and such. So, she was excited to retire, hang out with her sweet Lily cat, and she and her mom were planning some trips for the moment they had the okay to safely travel. Jan was going to show her mom Death Valley, which I guess she hadn’t stopped talking about since she and I had gone. I completely get that. It’s a special place for so many reasons.

I wish I could say it gets easier to say goodbye to people as I get older. The simple truth is it gets harder for me. Of the bloggers I’ve lost (Rob, Mikey, Scott, and now Jan), it just seems to me that the world keeps losing bright lights and big hearts. There will always be a place in my heart for these special souls, but especially for Jan. I consider myself fortunate to call her my friend and deeply honored that she called me one, too.

Jan

Okay. That’s it. I’m going to spend the rest of my day tending to my body and soul with some TLC and a warm shower to wash away the sadness.

Please promise me you’ll be here when I get back.

2021/02/08

2021 – Day 39b

Da Goddess @ 05:44

There’s a post from yesterday (which I couldn’t publish due to connectivity issues) on another device I can’t access at the moment. In that post, I mention I’m working on something about the coronavirus and basic health concerns. It ties in with the discussion happening in the comments from this post.

As someone who spent a lot of money and time on education to become a registered nurse, and who spent a great deal of time continuing my education in the pursuit of practicing the best care possible (I still do this even though I’m no longer licensed because I want to stay informed and I like to learn), I value the wisdom that comes from those who are on the forefront of medical care — through research and clinical practice — and I have to take care to approach new information with an open mind free of personal or political bias. To be frank, disease doesn’t give a flying fuck what party you belong to or who you vote for. Disease just happens. And we fight disease with science, with fact, and with the knowledge that addresses the disease. Politics may decide funding and dissemination of information to the public, but the actual fight against the disease isn’t political for medical professionals on the frontline. It can’t afford to be.

Anyhow, I have thoughts. So many thoughts. About Covid and healthcare in general. About how information is spread. About how people want to believe in practices other than that based on scientific and medical facts. I’m all for complementary medicine — homeopathy and holistic approaches — when they’re used in conjunction with that of conventional medicine. Together, that’s where the best stuff happens. I have a few too many friends who rely on homeopathic remedies and/or supplements as their own personal shields against disease and who then are surprised when they discover they’re ill.

Basically, my thoughts cover all of this and more and it’s coming. I just want to say it right.

So, please feel free to join the conversation in this other post and I can address topics of concern directly.

My goal isn’t to make anyone feel bad, but to open minds and hope that logic and common sense win out over what feels to be self-interest (even when it’s not intended as such).

I love you all and value our conversations, whether here on the blog or via email or text or phone calls. So, don’t be afraid to join in. I won’t bite. I promise. It’s not hygienic and it’s difficult to do while masked.

2021/02/03

2021 – Day 35 34

Da Goddess @ 00:44

My sister left me a voicemail yesterday. She’s on the mend from the covid and you can hear the toll it’s taken on her. That’s pretty much what everyone I know who’s had this or has taken care of someone with it has experienced. The lungs really take a beating.

As I told my sis, the best and most fun way to improve lung function is by blowing bubbles into a drink via a straw. Like when you were a kid. It sounds silly as hell, but it works.

In other news, my first physical therapy session is Friday. My first derm appointment is next Monday. And I still haven’t heard back from the interfaith council as to whether I’m approved for rent assistance. Today I make the difficult call to the landlord. Fingers crossed that he’ll allow me to use my deposit to cover rent this month. Also, trying to get anyone to come do a TNR on the kittens has proven nearly impossible. I’ve made at least 15 calls and filled out even more web forms. I’m desperate to get these kitties vaccinated and spayed. I’m concerned we’re going to end up with kittens having kittens and I that is something I cannot abide.

And with that, you’re officially caught up on the glamorous goings on in my life. What’s new with you?

Who loves ya, baby?

2021/01/29

2021 – Day 29

Da Goddess @ 02:03

I’m still (mentally) on Day 28, but it’s officially the 29th, so blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Health update: first, my sister seems to think she’ll be “better” on Sunday, as if Covid is predictable. I’ve told her to not worry about the timeline as it’s arbitrary and the most important thing is for her to just get healthy again. My friend who had it over the summer is still struggling with respiratory symptoms (diminished lung capacity is the biggest problem) and everyone seems to recover differently from this virus. What tends to be true for the majority of people who’ve been infected is that it takes a while to feel like yourself again.

More than anything, I really just want my sister to feel better. I want her to be as fully recovered as possible so that she can get back to doing the things she wants to do. I know it’s difficult for her to accept such a passive role at the moment, but it’s the best course for her.

I have found I really really really miss our Saturday outings to the grocery store. I miss her giving me the rundown on Mom and her various health problems. I miss just being able to hear her voice and spending those few minutes in the car with her. Our relationship has had its share of speedbumps over the years, but since Dad’s death and then Covid, well, it’s meant we’ve found a new rhythm for interacting that’s been quite lovely. Go figure — it only took a parent’s death and a pandemic for us to hit the right notes of sisterhood!

But again, as much as I miss her and our time together, I just want her healthy. She’s had enough bullshit in terms of health problems the past few years. She really doesn’t deserve this. Nobody does. And I mean NOBODY.

Secondly, Mom’s finally been given some meds to relieve her intractable pain. It’s been emotional torture to hear her physical pain over the phone. I mean, it killed me to not be able to do anything to help her and to know her fucking doctor wasn’t going to give her anything more than Extra Strength Tylenol for the pain that was making her weep all day and all night for over a month. Well, enter Lil Sis and yet another trip to urgent care for help. Mom was finally put on steroids and a low, temporary dose of Percocet. Halle-fucking-lujah! I’ve now had several calls with Mom where she was able to actively participate in the conversation. There are no tears. There’s no distress in her voice. She has actual relief from the pain!

I can’t stress enough how important pain management is. Even if it’s just temporary relief, breaking the pain cycle for any length of time is HUGE when you’re dealing with chronic pain or even an extremely acute flare-up. Mom has relief for now. The pain isn’t completely gone, but it’s been reduced to something livable. Mom’s physical distress is no longer psychic distress as well. Especially in older patients, especially when they’re isolated (as we’ve all been for waaaay too long [but necessarily]). There’s a level of emotional pain that comes with unaddressed physical pain (as I’ve said in my previous post and many others before it) that only becomes more debilitating with loneliness and age and loss of autonomy. To have a doctor refuse to address the problem is a slap in the face and is cruel beyond reason. People don’t let animals suffer like that! At least now Mom is feeling better and, hopefully, this flare-up can just become a distant memory for a good long while.

Thirdly, I had my three months follow up to my diabetes diagnosis. And cholesterol problem. And…blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. My labs were fantastic and my doctor declared me his most improved patient for the quarter. I went from extreme danger zone heart disease-wise to “this is what I call healthy and normal” range. My blood glucose levels are more in line with what they should be (there’s still room for improvement) and the doc was impressed with my reduction of my A1C. I went from “so far out of range to somewhere close to acceptable” according to him and that’s good enough for me for the moment. No changes in meds. No changes in anything else, although I asked again for an appointment with a nutritionist. I know that’ll do me a world of good.

I also got referrals to physical therapy for my neck and back (work comp won’t approve/cover it, but MediCal will) and to dermatology for multiple skin concerns. First and foremost, the two areas on my nose that are suspiciously awful from time to time. One lesion has finally stopped scabbing over (never did anything to it to make it get scabby in the first place) and the other has become the current problem. I know 100% that this is the result of unfettered access to copious amounts of warm California sun exposure in my youth. The endless sunburns. The endless exposure without sunscreen (remember when you bought Coppertone because it was a suntan lotion and not a sunscreen?). The years and years of carefree days spent browning like a holiday turkey or ham. Yep. It’s finally caught up with me. I knew it would. And the time is now. I’ll let you know how this plays out.

So, despite the need for referrals, my health has taken a turn for the better. In three months, I managed to undo however many years of unchecked nasty cholesterol and diabetes and am hanging out in a much better health neighborhood. I’m proud of myself. I wish I could say my glucose numbers were better, but that’s a necessary gradual change. Still, I’m regularly under 200 and that’s a major accomplishment for someone who started out over 400! I’m no longer drinking two gallons (+) a day. I’m not feeling the need to sleep all the time (or at least now it’s because I’m tired for other reasons). I don’t feel like I would rather curl up and die. I have real, actual days of not wanting to nap! This is a big deal for me. The last several years were awful and I didn’t know why. Then, BAM! The truth of the matter was made painfully evident via lab work. Now, I’m like a real person again. I’m thrilled!

I don’t know how I managed to ramble on for so long. I guess there’s just that moment between semi-awake and total sleep where the brain can somehow form complete thoughts and demand to let them out. Lucky you! And now you know more about me than you did yesterday, probably more than you ever wanted to know (and I didn’t even get into the embarrassing stuff). But there it is.

Now it’s time to crawl into bed. The Dick Van Dyke Show will wait. I’m going to take full advantage of the sound of rain on the roof to get in some quality zzzzzzzzzs. Fingers crossed!

Here’s a quick phone snap of the late afternoon sky before the storm came in. Sheesh! SoCal has such awful, ugly skies, right? XOXO

Before the storm

2021/01/17

2021 – Day 17 Bad News + TJH: Inspire

Da Goddess @ 00:01

My sis has the covid. I wish I could have it for her. I’m the one who has fuck-all to do. She’s the who holds it all together. She handles everything with Mom. She’s the one who gets shit done. And now she’s sidelined by this fucking virus.

My fingers are crossed in hopes that she recovers quickly. Honestly, she’s the last person in the world I’d have expected to get it because she’s so vigilant about handwashing and sanitizing. However, she’s also the one who is out and about, trying to keep the water from sinking the ship.

If you have a spare moment, please say a prayer for her. Thanks.

P.S.

Single line contour drawing of my big sister

This was my attempt to draw a quick sketch of my big sister — though I’m not sure why I gave her short hair. Her hair is currently long and gorgeous these days. No color or highlights, just natural. It’s my favorite hairstyle she’s ever sported. I don’t know why I’m going on about the hair; it just feels like it’s important to acknowledge the beauty of her locks for some reason, even though I bollocksed it up in the sketch.

Carry on.

2021/01/12

2021 – Day 12

Da Goddess @ 22:48

More like “Night 12” because I’m all over the place right now. I meant to post yesterday and I couldn’t keep a signal to save my life.

Well, to make up for that, please go watch this. My heart is now full.

The kittens are kind of like Odie. Especially Tiger Lily. Cats. So fucking funny.

2021/01/07

2021 – Day 7

Da Goddess @ 02:07

Dad would’ve turned 90 today.

I miss him terribly at times. Other times, I’m grateful he’s out of pain and not witnessing the insanity of the past year. Hell, the past 24 hours have been crazy enough and likely would have caused him to have a stroke or a heart attack or something.

I think about my dad so often, it’s almost as if he’s still here. There are many things that bring him to mind, but mostly I feel as though he’s just down the road a few miles, sitting in his favorite chair, watching races or car auctions, or maybe picking tangerines from his tree.

There’s something comforting in feeling his presence. I know he’s gone, yet I feel him near, guiding me, reminding me to keep on keepin’ on.

Miss you, Dad! Happy birthday!

2021/01/01

2021 – Day 1

Da Goddess @ 11:39

And how shall we begin the new year?

Let’s see:

Couldn’t sleep, so I played a word game all night while the cat slept on my head. I have fang marks imprinted on my forehead today.

Decided to go for a walk after I fed my cat and the kittens. Two plus miles?? I’m paying for it now (although I’ve been up and down the stairs a bunch of times, which always adds another layer of fun). But all’s good.

After prepping fresh veggies for my snacks this weekend, I took the leftovers down to the goats. We’ll see what they do with them. They’re finicky, which I thought was against goat law. I don’t even know with these two.

I’ve watched the dogs go crazy and chase each other (and the poor kittens) around the yard, take a dip in the pool, get muddy again, and then roll in poo. I’d have thought they’d worn themselves out after playing with the goats earlier (hilarious!), but Bristol has been extra wound up lately and can’t seem to sit still for long. Bandit just follows her lead.

I was going to do laundry at some point today, but have decided to wait a day or three. I have enough clean everything to last me a long while, so it’s better to be kind when I’ve overdone the walk (after several days off).

My next project us to go through email and unsubscribe from every newsletter I never bother reading any longer. I’ve done this a bit over the past few months and am ready to go full scorched earth on the damn things. I just don’t care about the majority of it.

That’s it for my first day. What are you up to?

2020/11/24

Tiny Hearts

Da Goddess @ 02:21

Both kittens have these delicate faces with little hearts for noses. They’re absolutely adorable and I hate having to leave them outdoors. But having them in the house is not an option; Fletch’S physical and mental wellbeing is priority one. That doesn’t mean I can’t love these two little darlings and play with them every chance I get.

Tiger Lily and a heart for a nose

P.S. When Fletch is on the porch and either/both cat(s) are around, it’s always nose touch followed by Fletchy hissing. Everyone then retreats to a neutral place and settles in.

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