Saturday, September 06, 2014

Still Around

Lots of changes in my life, as per usual.  'Pup had a major seizure last year, at the end of July.  He's  been out on disability since then.  It left him with some short term memory problems.  Some days, you can't tell... most days... you can.

It's the little things.  He forgets if he's taken his medicine, or if we've done something we'd discussed doing.  He gets angry sometimes when I remind him.  Sometimes, I get angry.  I suppose both of those reactions are normal.  I find I have more patience when I've had enough sleep.

This summer, I had not enough sleep, rest or proper food.  My work schedule was busy, in a good way, but busy nonetheless.  I enjoy making the extra money, but I was looking forward to a little more rest once August was over.

Then, on August 17, 'Pup was sick.  He wasn't talking, and that's the cue for me to take him to the emergency room.  He couldn't stand because he was in so much pain with his knees and hips, his muscles more than his joints, oddly.  I had to put him in a rolling walker and push him out to the van.  I then had to ask our good neighbors to the west to help him into the van.

By the time we got to the hospital, I was exhausted.  I pulled up to the ER door, got out of the driver's seat and found I couldn't breathe, and was dizzy.  So, it was a Two-Fer: me in one room and 'Pup in another, with me telling the ER staff, between gasps, my and 'Pup's medical history.  Not that they needed me to tell them about 'Pup... they pretty much know him by first name....

'Pup stayed in until the end of August, and is now in a skilled nursing facility getting rehab, IV antibiotics and generally being a garrulous grump (in other words, almost back to normal).  He still has the memory problems and occasionally forgets if he's eaten a meal... the food is not gourmet quality, but is adequate.  The good part of the facility is the staff.  They are caring and competent.  The facility is spotless, and they even allow me to bring our dog, Missy ,to visit.  It is very close to home, and it is easy for me to be there often.

I will get rested someday.  I'm sure of it.... till then, I snuggle the dog, who is missing 'Pup something FIERCE... and spend my days running from one place to another.

Oh, and my back yard now is minus my huge tree, and is a sunlit, desolate place.  Well, couldn't be helped,  It was either take down the old Ash, or risk it falling on the house....

More about that, later.

Monday, November 18, 2013



Yeah, had better years.  Still, not all is bad, just difficult.

'Pup is.... more himself, usually, but still has some short term memory problems.  He doesn't react well to stress of any kind, and has balance problems.  He has difficulties writing sometimes, especially numbers.  Passwords are almost impossible, without a written prompt and even then, he sometimes types them in wrong.  He still tries.  He is himself.... but with difficulties.

I am going to have to look for an additional job, as long term disability, if he qualifies for it, will be a significant income decrease.  The good news is that the cars are within a few months of being paid off, and that will free up some room in the budget.  If we can stay out of the hospital, we might be able to catch up.  On the positive, I've discovered a talent for making cheap, but tasty meals.  Fortunately, 'Pup is not an overly picky eater....except that the food must not have too much flavor.  I season my food separately...sigh.

Still.... he likes my chili... go figger.

I have lost a considerable amount of weight in the last 2 years, mostly because I'm not taking as many meds that have listed, as a possible side effect: "may cause weight gain".  Again, go figger.

Oh, and I am now a blond,  which is what happens when a red head goes grey....errr.. white haired?

I have the world's cutest students, by the way.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I've had better years.  Really.

Hubs has been in the ICU 3 times this year, starting in January.  The insurance company is deciding that they won't pay for part of that first ICU visit, as it seems the hospital kept us there for a few extra days (there were no free rooms for him to transfer to)... the bill is over 39,000 dollars.  and no, there are no extra 0s in that number.

He went back in in February and in April to a non ICU visit... and in July, back into ICU.  The others were septicemia... this last was because of a seizure.  He didn't know me for 3 days.  He's not going back to work for a few months, if ever.

My friend, Rita... passed away in early July.  I miss her more that I would have thought.  Her sons are soldiering on, but it is hard for them, too.


My husband is still here, and he is "Him".    For a while, I wasn't sure what would happen.  Short term disability is on line, tho we've yet to get a check.  But, his dad came through with some money that is helping to tide us over.

I need to find another revenue stream, and I've got some leads.

I hope everyone else is doing fine.......

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Back Home Again

Okay, I'm back, again.

I've been a little busy, with work and stuff.  Part of the stuff is a neighbor that needed a little help.  She has leukemia, and while her son has moved back to stay with her, he has to travel for work.  So, I stop by when he's gone, making sure she has dinner and transportation to where she needs to go.


This may be coming to an end.  She's in the hospital now, critical and "day to day".  Things can happen quickly when your immune system doesn't exist anymore.

I am going to miss her, if she doesn't make it.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

New Life

We got a new computer!  Now, to learn Windows 8... which sucks so far.  Truly.  Even after being addicted to my smart phone and, indeed, doing everything online with my smart phone that I could.... Windows 8 is NOT all that intuitive. I am at a Star$s right now, on their internets trying to set this computer up because, while I can access via Wi-Fi, it does NOT want to recognize my Verizon dongle that is to be my primary access to the internets.  But, I'm going to try to get back to this blog.  I need the writing outlet.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Carried  in Hot Air Balloons

Oh, dear friends,
Come travel with me
And see the wider world,
We will fly and tread upon sunlit clouds
On air currents paved with sunbeams,
Carried in hot air balloons.

We will exclaim over the tree tops,
And complain of the traffic
When caught in flights of migrating birds
Traveling to more clement climes,
Carried in hot air balloons.

Eating peaches, mangoes and plums,
We’ll plant unlikely orchards,
Spitting the seeds over the sides
Like unexpected compliments
Carried in hot air balloons.

We’ll float in glowing silence, spun by humming webs
Filled with songs sung in joy,
Thrumming lines played by passing time
Filling empty spaces we’d never felt before,
Carried in hot air balloons.

We will sleep on moon-washed murmurs
Covered with hearts light as warm wishes
Flowering in swaths of loving beauty
Flowing over soft-aired dreams,
Carried in hot air balloons.

Oh, dear friends,
Come travel with me
And see the wider world,
We will fly and tread upon sunlit clouds
On air currents paved with sunbeams,
Carried in hot air balloons.

Nancy France,
 June 9, 2012

Friday, December 09, 2011

Running With the Wind

When I was very young,
I loved to run into the wind
And spread my arms to embrace it
Wanting to be caught up in its arms and thrown up
Into the air and be carried as in a parent’s arms
I wanted to catch hold of a cloud and swing there
Oh, how I loved t run.

As a girl, a little older,
I loved to run into the wind,
And spread my arms to enfold the wind
Wanting to catch it with outstretched arms
Arms held in just the right way to be supported by the wind
I wanted to dive into the sky and swim there
Oh, how I loved to run.

And as a young woman,
I would run rarely, aware of appearances,
Still, I spread my arms to capture the wind
In arms held in hopes of finding just the right angle
To hold a mountain of air in my arms,
I wanted to climb it, and be upheld there, in the sky.
Oh, how I loved to run

And now, an older woman,
I cannot run on legs unsteady walking
But I stand on stormy days with outstretched arms
Trying with aching arms to entreat the wind to fill them
To hold it in arms as a lover embraces a beloved.
I want it to carry me along, to travel to where it goes so fiercely.
Oh, how I would love to run with the wind once more

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In 2006,, I signed up to commemorate one of the lives of the people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. I knew it would be hard to or so I thought. It was hard, and easy. He would be the age my brother T is now.

I’d started off concentrating on the death, when the realization hit me that it wasn’t about how he died, but rather, it was that he had lived. That it is important to remember that each life is precious and irreplaceable.

Here is the face of an important man. It’s a nice face. It’s a handsome face. His face could be the face of anyone’s brother, cousin, nephew, uncle, grandson, husband or father. And, the very fact that he could be anyone, makes him someone important. Not because he died, but because he was a person, with a life, a soul, a destiny, a place in his family.

His name is Kevin McCarthy. He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. He was probably somewhere between the 100th and 105th floors when the plane hit the North Tower. Things may have happened so quickly for him that he didn’t have time to feel fear. I hope so. I fervently hope that when he left this world, he entered into the next with joy.

Kevin was so close to me in age that I’m pretty sure we experienced many of the same things. We watched the Brady Bunch, and the Love Boat, the Carol Burnett Show, Sonny and Cher, and perhaps my favorite, Red Skelton. He would have watched the A-Team and the Rocky movies and ET and Star Wars and wondered who shot JR. Maybe he watched MacGyver and Happy Days and Charlie’s Angels. He may have had a poster or three on his walls.

He probably practiced fire drills, safety drills and learned to duck under his desk in case of a nuclear bomb. He probably teased his sisters at home and fiercely protected them outside of it. My family had five children, his six. I suspect that a remark once made by my mother, might have been made by his: "When the girls are gone to camp the laundry is cut in half. When the boys are away, the food bill is cut by two-thirds."

He may have liked the Beatles and owned their records. He knew what records WERE… and would have been trying to explain them to his grand children eventually. He experienced the amazing transformation of our world, from records, to eight tracks, to floppy disks, to CD’s and DVD’s. He went from Pong to surfing the ‘net.

He was probably in the first classes that experienced true desegregation. He sadly watched as Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were shot. He watched the news coverage of the riots at Kent State.

He would have watched the evacuation of the embassy in Vietnam. He may have had friends with older brothers in ‘Nam. He may, as I did, know of a brother who never came back, and others that came back as changed men. Then he probably asked himself: WHY.

He watched a man walk on the moon for the first time. He watched astronauts soar into space, some dying in the attempt. He watched as the Challenger flew its brief flight. He watched a space station be built, and then fall to the earth, and another space station be started.

He experienced a boy’s life with the freedom our children do not have anymore. He might have gotten a BB gun for Christmas one year, or a ray gun or a water pistol. He might have been a cowboy for Halloween one year, and routinely have worn his six shooter, loaded with caps. And just when he was old enough to go out by himself on Halloween, to hit the good neighborhoods for candy, it changed forever because of a poisoned pixie stick.

“Just be home for dinner before darkness falls”, our mothers would have told us. “Wash up well before coming to the table, and YES you DO have to use soap.” We watched the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday night. You could go to a movie and get drinks and some popcorn for under $2.00, and we could go there alone. Our world was smaller, but we explored it a little more one on one than is possible today. Our bikes could take us anywhere. Just get home before dark…

After college he got a job and a wife and family. He lived in Fairfield, Connecticut and must have had a lovely home. The commute was long and he may not have made it home before dark every day, but I’m sure he was glad to get there at last.

He left for work one day on a beautifully sunny, clear day. He was a Stock Trader for Cantor Fitzgerald, who occupied the 101st to the 105th floors of the North Tower. The view must have been breathtaking from his floor, the 104th. The day was so clear, the sky so blue. I’d venture to guess that he and his colleagues probably remarked on the nice weather, and clear air.

And then darkness fell, and he left this Earthly home. He was 42 years old. He will live on in the memories of his family and our minds forever as a 42 year old. His hair will never grey. He’ll never age. He’ll never walk a daughter down an aisle. He’ll never smile at the sight of a son and his bride. He’ll never be the fun uncle to his nephews and nieces. There will never be a time when his particular place in his family will be filled. There will always be a face missing from the family photos.

He is survived by his wife Debra, daughters Chelsea and Stephanie, and son Andrew; parents Charles and Marie McCarthy; four sisters; Kathleen Sullivan and her husband, Richard; Karen Toomey and her husband, Kevin; Maureen Baumgartel and her husband, Scott; Mary Ellen Rice and her husband, Tim; one brother, Charles Jr. and his wife, Deborah; and 9 nieces and nephews as of September 11, 2001.

And be cause of that place he left, he is an important man. Please, instead of Speaking, Thinking or Feeling angry about the end of his life, Stop. Think, hmmm no make that: Ponder about the beauty of the world around you. Study it well and Smile. Celebrate his lives, both the Earthly one and the Eternal One.

As Red Skelton would have said: “And May God Bless”

NOTE:  I repost this every year, and think of Mr. McCarty.  A couple of years ago, his sister found my blog and commented on this memorial of her brother.  It is one of the nicest honors of my blog life that she liked this.

I know we're all not ever going to forget. 

Friday, September 02, 2011

Hummm. I have been away for a while and blogger changed things.  I do not think I like it.

Oh well.... Let's see if I can get it to work!

The first bit of good news is that I got to see the Omnibabe, Leslie as she was visiting here in Texas.  We went to Galveston, swam 2 times a day and ate ourselves silly.  Yes, I got sunburned.  It was worth it.

Now, let's see if this will post!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Well, February Got Away From Me

I really meant to start posting more, but then.... I got sick. And, other than some epic coughing sessions, I didn't have much to write about.

I'm getting better, pollen notwithstanding, and hope to get back into the swing. I need to finish revamping this blog, replacing all the widgets and links that didn't transfer over.

The good news is, that 'Pup and I went to a nursery (the subject of a further post) and bought some GAW-jus tomato and herb plants. And, the weather is right to plant them! Gonna be a GAWJUS week, too.

On a side note: This month is my blog-versary. I started in 2005!