Monday, October 29, 2007


After 27 days of being in the hospital, my mom is getting to leave. She'll be staying at my sis L's house for a while.

We are all much relieved and happy.

Y'all have a good day.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


So, forget shopping....even EATING in Houston is not for the faint of heart. These denizens were found in a barbecue restaurant, which serves some of the best you can get.

Texas' state mammal. Seriously. It is. Really.

How'd ya like to eat with this feller lookin' over your shoulder? Yet, people do. Yes, the food's that good.

This guy...I could hardly look into his eyes as I was prepared to munch down on a critter not too different from him. But I managed to finish my plate anyway.

Some of the good eats there...

And this is where the good.......errr Goode eats can be found. Actually, it's one of four Goode restaurants on Kirby, near Rice village. There's a seafood, a Tex-Mex, a barbecue and the Armadillo Palace, which offers live entertainment.
If you had to be stuck in traffic anywhere in Houston, this is where you'd like to be.

Ain't this a great place to live?


I'm a traditionalist, I think, when it comes to furniture. I like soft and comfy, I like warm colors of wood (no blonde wood for me please), I like something that looks as if it would be at home in a Hobbit hole frankly. Minimalist, I am not. (Oh? You mean you could tell that by looking at me?)

Still, I can't deny, that contemporary bedroom furniture doesn't have its own kind of appeal. It has clean lines, an uncluttered look and is very stylish. In some houses, it would be the only appropriate kind of furniture.

Still, sometimes, it looks...lonely. Lovely and lonely.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

I have a friend who lives near L.A. She had to evacuate because of the fires, but is back at home now. The thing about home for her, though, is that she's trying to SELL that home. She needs to sell it. Now, you'd think, in California, there'd be no trouble selling a beautiful, well maintained home. Think again.

I think the more you want to sell a house, for any reason, the harder it seems to be to find a buyer as motivated as you are as a seller. The real estate market just ain't what it used to be a couple of years ago.

Now, however, I'm wondering. Will the fact that she has an unburned house improve her chances of selling? Sigh, realistically, perhaps not...but, one never knows, does one?


Tutoring today was fun, tiring, but fun. I think I'm just plain tired in general.

One of the things I do at the learning center is evaluate a child's writing and then decide what skill needs to be worked on first. After a while, I've noticed that I seem to have a recurring theme on some days when I assign topics to write about. Today, the topic was "IF".

"IF" is a small but powerful word. It changes things like "will" and "can" to "would" and "could". It introduces the word "might" into your mind. So much power for so small a word.

So, IF I had money, what would I do with it?

Well, first I think, after paying off any and all debts we owe, I'd want to fix up the house. I want to finish the renovation dreams I've had, and then had to give up when I had to retire, then 'Pup lost his job.

I want to upgrade some things. I want to replace the double sink in the kitchen with something a little bigger, shinier and cool. I'd like to have something I could look at and think...."this is so COOL!" under all the dirty dishes. It might give me more incentive to, you know.........DO the dishes. I'd like to try something out of Franke Sinks.

I want to go shopping. Hummm I think I know what I'll do tonight. Shop. Online. It's cheap, I don't have to drive anywhere (70 miles a day to the hospital and back. I like my Saturn, but we need some time apart. Not a divorce...just a little time apart.), humm where was I...Oh, I want to shop online.



How did it get to be Saturday already?

Why am I having to work so many hours today? (9 am to 3:30)?

Humm. Well... I have been busy, keeping Hot Stuff occupied and traveling 70 miles a day. Ms Saturn is getting a workout. I have an extra private student today and we're interviewing a new tutor for the other learning center. The hours are welcome. This last month has been rather expensive.

Y'all. I'm going to have to do some serious money blogging in the next few days/weeks. Don't give up on coming here, please. I need the traffic to get the dollars.

One observation about Houston: HSN and I see at least one accident a day. Until now, I would see one every couple of weeks. I think it's because I'm traveling longer distances in more areas of the city, but YIKES people. Y'all need to be more careful out there!

Good thing about it ain't been us in the accidents, tho it's been close at least 3 times. Ms. Saturn is a peppy little car and nimble. Anything slower or less responsive, and I'd not have been able to avoid at least 2 of the accidents thatcouldhavebeenbutweren't.

Mom. she's feeling a little better, they've finally gotten something for her rash and put her back on steroids. I don't think they're going to be letting her go for a while longer, as they've started some pulmonary studies to see why she's coughing.

Her low point was on her birthday. She was being driven mad by the itching, coughing, anxiety about still being in the hospital, and a little stir crazy about having to be in bed so long.

Today, I'm here at work (30 min break now between kids) and HSN and 'Pup are off with the dogs. They're going to a bark park and taking advantage of the good weather to run some of the energy off of the dogs. It's good to get HSN outside too. We've been spending too much time in the care or inside other places.

Oh, and HSN loves loves loves the parking garage at Methodist. See, when you go down, you travel on a spiral ramp with a very tight curve. This pleases HSN, and she makes me go UP to as high as we can go before going down again. Oh well.... it's the cheapest form of entertainment yet, and I approve of having fun wherever one finds it.

I have a friend in the LA area, she had to evacuate because of the fires, but is back in her house now. She's camped out in her bedroom, with a couple of air filter/purifiers because of all the smoke, soot and ash in the air.

It's been a scary time for her. I'm glad she's safe.

Y'all have a nice weekend, and find some fun in whatever it is you have to do.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom

My mom really wanted to be home, or at L's house before her birthday. It's not going to happen. Her temperature is still up, her rash is worse, and last night.........she decided she'd waited for help to the bathroom long enough and went by herself........and fell. And couldn't get up. And waited for at least 15 minutes or so, sure that she'd manage to get up herself. She didn't.

She was feeling a little weaker today, but was able to walk a little with the physical therapist.

She's most discouraged because tomorrow is her 70th birthday. This is NOT what she had planned.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More Updates About Mom

Well.......we'd hoped my mom would be out of the hospital by today. However, her body seemed to have had different plans. She spiked a fever of 101 and broke out in a rather awful rash.

Thus: no going home.

She's been in the hospital for 20 days now. She wants out. We'd like to get her out. My sister L and her husband have a room ready for her and have modified what needs to be modified so that my mom can manage with a little help. They're going to be hiring a home health nurse to come in each day and try to find someone who can stay with my mom to help her with things like.......going to the bathroom, getting something to eat, drink or just get another blanket.

She's getting stronger, but she's still very weak. She's eating, but not all that much.

So, she'll be a continuing guest at Methodist for another day or three.

No, they've NO idea what caused the rash. The only good thing is that her white cell count wasn't up, so they're pretty sure it wasn't another infection. Perhaps it is associated with the rash.

In transportation news, my Saturn is back in commission. It just needed one of the lock switches replaced, and now is as good as ........well as new as a 12 year old car can be...

My mom's car, which we'd borrowed for the time (we thought it would be several days before it was fixed), is now in the same shop. Seems her master switch went bad and the windows wouldn't roll up after going down. How did we find this out? Well.........

I let the valet service park it. It came back with the driver's side window allllll the way down. Nothing I tried, or the valets tried, nor the valets' manager tried could get it up.

And it was a cold day. And rainy, and windy and now I got to drive it with no driver's window. We got to my workplace ( I missed two hours of work) and 'Pup came and drove it to the mechanic. By the way. If you live in NW Harris Co, and need the name of a VERY good mechanic service, email me. See, they waited for 'Pup to get there so that they could lock up the car in the bay. Otherwise, we'd have had to park a Lincoln Town Car in our driveway with the driver's window down. Not so good.

Oh well, things are fixed... mom is getting better, slowly.

And we've had our first real fall weather.

Y'all have fun.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Houston Sights

As I've said before, shopping in Houston, is not for the faint of heart.

This critter was found on Kirby Drive, near Rice Village. It's hard to tell, but his eyes glow red.

Watch What Ya Watch

Someday, we're going to have to buy a new television. We like the looks of the flat screen HDTVs. They don't take up as much room as a similarly sized conventional or projection television. That means placement possibilities of the television are more flexible and varied. You can even build around one in a console by using plasma tv stands.

It would be kinda cool to have one that hides away when not in use too. It would mean we had a living room to greet people. Small houses don't really have room to have any one room be only one thing. But, even a small house could have a home theater. Of course, that would mean giving up a living room and living in a house that makes the statement "WE LIKE TELEVISION!" Which, come to think of it, we do. Sigh...


No lie, Texas is where both of us want to spend the rest of our lives. That doesn't mean, however, that someday we won't need to or have to move away. If we did, one possible area might be Arizona, or another western state.

Not near Las Vegas, nor in California. I want something different.

Even if our main home were in Texas, I'd like to own land somewhere that's...wild. I'd like to have some land I could go to for some quiet and peace.

I wonder what Scottsdale real estate goes for?

Friday, October 19, 2007


My mom may be getting to go home Sunday or Monday. This is good news. She'll be going down to live with my sister L and her family for a while. Hot Stuff gets to stay with me. HS is going down to BC to the Rice Festival with her mom, brother and cousins. She's looking forward to the trip.

'Pup is 'bout worn down to a nubbin. After last weekend's trip with his dad and working long hours, he needs a day off to sleep. I hope he gets it on Saturday, while I'm at work.

My Saturn seems to have developed a minor electrical problem. The door locks keep running and not working. I don't have time to put it in the shop just now, that might wait till next week. The mechanic said it's not dangerous for me to wait and to drive it till then. They've done something to the locks so that they work for now, mechanically.

Y'all have a good day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Just Because

'Pup doesn't buy me flowers for my birthday, Valentine's Day, our anniversary or any other recognized holiday. Sigh.

On the other hand, sometimes, he gets them "just because".
I like "just because".

New Stuff

As it looks like Hot Stuff may be with us for a while, 'Pup and I are thinking of doing some minor redecorating in things like her room and maybe changing things like the bathroom decor. Thankfully, she's past her "Hello Kitty" mania, but still likes pink.

She likes pink a LOT.

We've had a seaside decor bit going on in the hall bathroom for the past 7 years. It's not bad, but I'd like some change too. So, with the proviso that it not be PINK, I think I'll let Hot Stuff have a lot of input into the situation.

After all, we want her to feel like this is her home too.

When Drugs are Not Your Friend

Right now, the relative "friendly-ness" of the medicines and drugs we (Pup and I) take are balanced by our need for them. I don't need many pain killers, and only occasionally. But, when I need them, I need them.

'Pup needs them more often and more of them. His rheumatoid arthritis is kicking up into debilitating, especially in his hands. The killer of it all is that there are good drugs out there that he could take to make that pain lessen enough that it doesn't keep him from wanting to do things that HURT.

But he can't get them. Not for long enough or at the strength he needs. Why? Well...I think you can thank all those rich idiots/celebrities that manage to get Oxycontin for a hangnail, become dependent on them, needing drug rehabilitation, and then making it difficult for a physician to prescribe pain killers without being in danger of prosecution or worse.. losing his malpractice insurance.


Guess Who!

Guess who was waiting for us when we got home late last night. Yah, Chuckie the wonder dog had found, somehow, a way in from the rainstorm. Yes, it rained yesterday, starting about 2 hours after we'd left. Sigh.

This is how we left it, but without the white chair leaning against the other side.

Poor Butch did got find a way inside. He was soaked through and through.

We let him inside. He was wet. Poor us.

How did Chuckie get in? I submit these photos in evidence.

This is how we found the white chair. Our theory (mine and Hot Stuff's) is that Chuckie, perhaps with the hapless help of Butch, pushed the chair to the gate, and then Chuckie, agile dog that he is, went up and over. Butch is not so agile. He is....a formidable presence....and a little older. No doubt Chuckie assured him that he'd come back for him, or send help.
This is approximately where the chair would have started. Sorry about the blurry picture.
Today, it's supposed to rain again. I'm not even going to try to keep the dogs outside. Dealing with a poor wet Butch one night was enough for me. He's a nice dog, he forgave me everything. Right after he hopped on the bed, rolled around to try to dry off and then over and under the pillows to try to hide his head 'cause maybe I might have been yelling a bit about a wet dog on my bed!
How much rain did we have?
My best estimate is a little over 3 1/2 inches or so. Glub, glub.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Butch and Friends

Well, the new dog is actually fitting in a little better than I'd....well, hoped isn't really the right word. I think I'm actually looking for the word "dreaded".

He's a nice dog. A gentleman dog, and a gentle dog. He's also a bit lazy, and I think he's a little down. Given his druthers, he'd rather spend the day on the bed, thank you very much.

No, that's not going to happen.

Butch and Sir Charles are spending the day al fresco, in their own little bark park. We've got them in the back yard and have closed the side yard gate. That means that Lady SpitFire can go in and out as she pleases, and still have a gate between her and Mr. Butch. I'm not sure how happy the two dogs will be the rest of the day, but they'll survive. It's supposed to be a cool day, with highs only in the 80's and under all the shade in the backyard, that's not too warm for either of them. They've also got a BIG doghouse, with a tile floor, to go into if it they want to.

Yes. Our dog house has a tile floor. It's a long story. 'Nother time, maybe, I'll tell you.

Humm. Starting to get a little...barky... outside. Too Bad.

Sunday night, when Hot Stuff niece and I got back from the hospital, 'Pup was home with the two OTHER pups. Somehow, Lady SpitFire hadn't confronted the reality of a new dog, as she'd been spending the day outside, enjoying the fine fall weather we'd been having.

She chose to come in for the evening just about the time 'Pup decided that Butch needed to learn how to use the doggie door.

She was just about to enter, when they caught sight of each other through the glass.

Spitty (no fool she), decided to ZOOM. That kicked in Butch's instinct to chase.

He'd not yet figured out how to go through a doggie door.


Fortunately, the sliding glass door is sturdy.

'Pup decided to take Butch and Charles out the other back door. Spitty disappeared. I was not pleased.

After bringing in Butch (he'd done the necessary), I went in search of the cat.

Note to self: that backyard landscape lighting project might need to move up on the priority list. Y'all. We've got a DARK backyard.

I found her on the fence, clearly contemplating a jump. She has not yet, as far as we can tell, ever left the backyard. She was tempted, but it was dark, and she doesn't like jumping from high places. Yes, I have a cat that has a slight fear of heights, or rather.....falls.

I was, after some cajoling, able to get Spitty in my arms and into the house. I introduced her to Butch by allowing her to hide behind Chucklehead as Butch's loooonnngg nose sniffed her, then Charles, then Charles again. I could almost hear the dog say: "BRO! Your pack mate ain't no DOG!"

Spitty begged to differ. She is too a dog. She is merely a dog with superior climbing abilities and a much vaster vocabulary of curses. She knows she is a dog, because her momma, Brain, was a dog.

She's not hiding under the bed, but she's not seeking the company of Mr. Butch either. She's not backing down...but is smart enough to not confront him if at all possible. No one is or has ever been so well ignored until one has been ignored by a cat. Even if the cat thinks she's a dog.

So, that brings us to today. Yesterday we closed Butch up in a crate, but thought that the backyard would be better.

Charles does not agree. So far he's been put out back 4 times. The first time, he pushed the side gate open with his nose. Chagrined, I closed the gate again and made sure the latch had engaged.

The second time he came in, I found that he'd tried to dig through the Decomposed Granite pathway (not successful) and then, just made his own opening in the gate's lattice. A nice Chucky sized hole, that Butch could only gaze forlornly through. He's bigger, fatter and doesn't jump very well.

Round three. Charles 3, me 0.

I closed the gap in the gate with some wire fencing. Note to self: should have secured same a little better.

Charles is beginning to get a decidedly smug look on his doggie face. Spitty has taken to sitting on the table near the glass door, where she has a ring side seat to the contest. She's not commented vocally as of yet, but the body language doesn't seem impressed with my efforts so far.

Okay. Round 4. Ziptied metal fencing to the gate where Chucky had so deftly removed it. I was somewhat disquieted by the fact that the two dogs were watching my efforts and seemed to be conferring upon them. Chucky didn't seem too worried.

Humm, so far, so good. Chuckie's not figured out this one yet.

I may just leave while I'm ahead..or at least, only 2 or 3 points behind.

As an update on my mom's progress, she is having some ups and downs. She was feeling well enough Wednesday to ask that I bring her some makeup, and was sitting up in a chair most of the day on Thursday. 'Pup had the great idea to make choosing make up easier... fortunately, my mom has a good sense of humor and laughed a long time at the Halloween makeup kit.

Friday, I spent most of the day at the car mechanic getting the van and my Saturn serviced. (I got a new headliner for the Saturn).

I wish I'd been able to get there ealier in the day, as she'd had some trouble breathing because so much fluid had built up in her lungs. I'm glad my brother T, was able to get to my mom's side earlier that day to make her feel better. The van had to have several small things done to it, and I was stuck waiting for parts to come in.

I worked Saturday morning and found my mom in better spirits, but still unable to get out of bed, trying to keep her legs elevated. The Halloween makeup kit had been a hit with my sister L's family too. They'd laughed and then my neices opened the kit and painted everyone's face. L washed hers off, but the girls and their dad kept theirs on.

Sunday, mom was still in bed, today she's got some proceedures and tests scheduled.

Today, we're finally heading out to see her before I go to work at 4. So far, it seems I've Chuckie proofed the side gate.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just Because I want to...

I miss my garden.

Ready, Set, Spray!

Since it looks like we'll have 2 dogs for an unknown period of time, and knowing we've got to walk both dogs, (so that, hopefully, together they won't demolish my house or my yard) (my GARDEN!!! AAAAHHH), 'Pup's been looking for some parks with paved walking paths so that I can go with him and Hot Stuff to walk the dogs.

Thing is, we're probably going to have to do some of the walking on our own, in the neighborhood. While it's not a bad neighborhood, there are no safe places in this world, even with two dogs.

So, I was happy to get the chance to review a product from a company that sells self defense products.

The product I got is called the Hot Walker. It's a pair of hand weights, the kind you'd be carrying if you were walking with weights to work out your upper arms. The surprise it carries inside is a little canister of mace/pepper spray. The other baton has a hidden compartment to carry things like keys and money. Well... it's supposed to, anyway. I've not been able to get it open. Which, I suppose, kind of proves that I sort of, well, need to start working out with one or both batons.

These are the specs:

Built-in 10% Pepper Spray for self-defense.
Elastic Hand Straps for support.
Storage Compartment for keys and money.
Foam-covered Hand Grips for comfort.
Two 1-pound weights.
Cleans with soap and water.
Replaceable Pepper Spray Canister.
FREE Replacement Pepper Spray

$19.95 each

Here's a picture or two.

I've also figured out that even if I don't spray a jerk, they're just heavy and long enough to be really good things with which to hit soft and not so soft areas of any a**h****'s anatomy.
I do so love multi-taskers.


Well, it looks like we're getting a new dog, temporarily, I HOPE! The house and yard just aren't big enough for two dogs and it's going to be twice as hard to get them both walked properly.

On the other hand...with Butch next to me, I can probably ride my scooter anywhere and any when. He's a nice dog, with no mean bone in his body, but he's not exactly small.

I wonder if we should order announcements now, or should we wait for the day Butch goes BACK to BiL for good.

Humm. For good.

You know, if BiL does get to keep Butch, it really will be for the good. Both his good, and the dog's good... and ours.

I'm getting tired here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mom and Hot Stuff Niece

Mom has made it into a private room out of MICU. She's very weak, and is still very ill, but she's much better than she was.

She said the infectious disease doc came and examined her and said that she'd need to be treated for the meningitis for another two weeks.

Two Weeks.

She's not sure if that will have to be in the hospital, or can be as an outpatient. At any rate, I suspect that they won't release her until she's strong enough to care for herself. Physical therapy starts tomorrow. She may get the rest of the fluid around her heart drawn out too.

Hot Stuff Niece and I go to visit her every day, then head out to the tutoring center. My good Korean Bossman is being very kind, and allowing her to sit quietly and work her word find books, sudoku, or even play hearts online. Hot Stuff is an interesting mix of capabilities and limitations. She can read at about a 2nd grade level, can work sudoku puzzles and word finds, take an unconscious person's blood sugar, and address a low blood sugar with orange juice and glucose tablets, pass a CPR course, call for an ambulance when one is needed, learn a surprising number of skills for short term Many things. But. She can't count change, handle unexpected changes well (tho! she can handle an emergency as it's happening... she just needs taking care of afterwards), she'll never be able to drive a car, as that would require too many decisions too quickly. She likes to think things over before she does something, you see.

She is an interesting person.

Oh, we added her on our cell phone family plan. She's very tickled to have her own cell phone, with her own telephone number. She has been learning how to take pictures with it. I still have to bring up the camera function for now, but I suspect she'll be able to do it soon enough. I'll be posting some pictures she's taken.

Oh, and our daily round trip from home to hospital, to work and to 'Pup's workplace (to meet up for supper as he's been staying late to make up for time taken off) and then to home 75 miles.

We've been spending a lot of time in the car.

Thank you all for your prayers. They must have worked.

Just as You'd be Thinkin' My Life Has GOT to be Slowin' Down...

Well, you'd be wrong. Remember my Bro-in-law? Well, Pa-in-law is moving him out into an apartment. Problem is, his dog can't go with him. That dog is just about all that connects Bro-in-law to other people in a positive way. I know my sis-in-law is trying, with some help, to have the dog classified as an official assist animal. No luck in that area yet, but they're still trying.

Problem is, as the time gets closer to the move, Bil is becoming more angry and confused. He's sure people are stealing things from him, and he refuses to discuss anything to do with the move, and what might happen to Butch (the dog. So. This Friday, 'Pup gets to go up to Austin with his dad to move bil into his new apartment. Butch will be coming home He's going to have to stay in a crate or outside most of the time, as I'm not sure he'll know NOT to try to eat Lady SpitFire. He and Chuckie get along well, but he's not met the cat, nor any cat that I know of...

Butch is a good dog. But he's BIG and he's gonna be missing his person. In fact, considering my bil's problem, he might miss bil more than bil can miss anything or anyone.

I hope Butch's stay is a short one.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Yes, I'm still alive, no large irate family has done away with me. Got some pointed looks, but as I was knitting with some rather large pointed sticks.......

Things are much quieter too. I think their loved one won't be with us much longer. She's in organ failure, and the only system still working at full capacity is the respiratory one.

On the positive front, my mom is doing much better. Well...better is a relative thing in a MICU unit I think.

She's still quite ill, but not in immediate danger, and has improved enough to sit up and even try to eat solid food. Not that she did, much, but she tried.

She's had fluid drained from around her heart, and felt better afterwards. They were thinking of trying to put her into a step down unit, in a private room, but it didn't happen today.

She's had a lot of the lines that were running into, well, a lot of places, have come out, and she's mostly being given the massive amounts and numbers of bags of antibiotics (pretty much one or two hanging and dripping in at all times) through only one or two sites.

Today at lunch she was sitting up in a chair and had a huge tray of food in front of her. She tried to eat some of it, but up until today, she'd been on no food, a feeding tube and then liquids. It's gonna take a while to build an appetite.

Not that she's been eating much at all since my dad died.

L and her husband are doing the hard and heavy work of closing the house in BC for a while, securing things ect. And the outside cats...have to go to a shelter. The docs say that she can not have any animals in the house, or near the house at all.

They're really not sure what bug it is that is laying her so low.

The way we figure it, she's gonna be a popular stop in the grand rounds (Methodist is a teaching hospital) and the subject for several papers.

The future is gonna come, one day at a time, and that's about all we can say.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


I am not a confrontational type of person, but mostly I'm not a push over either. I have a lot of patience and I think I showed a lot of forbearance this past week while waiting in the MICU waiting room.

Mostly, it was a quiet place. The families of the patients are usually preoccupied and speak quietly among themselves. Usually.

There are exceptions.

One such exception......or rather group of exceptions were the J family. Now, individually, these were nice people, well mostly. There were several of the members I would have been happy to get to know. Then, there were the others.

They yelled at their kids and each other and at the world in general. They brought their kids to the waiting room of a unit where there were people gravely ill..........including my mother, who had meningitis(!), not exactly a common cold. We had to use precautions about contact and make sure our hands and anything they touched were cleaned with an antibacterial wipe.

The kids were actually cute and fairly well behaved. They acted And they were rather nice kids. Their adults.........not so much.

What kinds of idiots yell at kids who are crying, and expect them to STOP crying? What kind of stupid, moronic, inconsiderate, ill mannered, no account TRASH takes over a small waiting room and makes it impossible for anyone else to use it?

And then? When I finally lodged a complaint with the MICU front desk and the unit supervisor, and they were TOLD to leave, they left mad. They also left trash, spilled water, spilled coffee and leftover food.

They complained that "She don't be the ONLY one with a family member sic"..........and "I's gonna BE bringing back my babies to see they grand mama", and (my favorite..ick!)....."Why don't they be havin' a nursery for the kids anyways?"

They didn't come back for the rest of the night. After they left, several other members of families of OTHER patients were finally able to come in and use the waiting room. It was if they appeared from no where. I wonder where they'd been before?

I didn't make it back to the hospital today. I had to work, and then had to stay late for an extra student. We had to let 'Pup go into work today to get some things done. Oh, he'd been there after dropping me off to work, but we needed an emergency math tutor and he was nice enough to come.. but that pretty much broke up the day he wanted to use to catch up on things. We gave it a try, for a few hours, but we're just.........tired.

My Hot Stuff niece is still with us. We'll meet my sister and pick up some more clothes and a few odds and ends, like her portable DVD player. We're planning on getting to the hospital early-ish in the morning to see my mom, and probably spend the day there.

We hope she'll be stepped down into a somewhat less critical care unit, where she'll have a quieter place to rest. How long she's going to be in the hospital is the question now. My sister L has the durable power of attorney, and we've both been given the responsibility to make some medical decisions when my mom can't.

L and I want my mom to go live with L for a while, at least, until she is feeling well enough......if ever go home.

My mom is saying yes for now, but we both know it's going to take a lot of convincing her to give up her autonomy. But she's not able to live alone now, and while Hot Stuff Niece is remarkably capable of handling the emergencies she's had to handle........she's just about to reach her limit. She's got a woman's body, but emotionally she is still very much a child, and will always be limited in what she SHOULD be responsible for.

She was the one to find my dad after he passed away in his sleep.
She's had to call the EMS 4 times to help my mom when she's fallen, and now again with this illness. Hot Stuff needs to be taken care of for a while and not have to take care of anyone. 'Pup and I want her with us.

One of the first things my mom tried to communicate to me when she was awake at last, was how and where Hot Stuff Niece was and who was taking care of her.

She is my sister S's daughter, but S is raising a grandchild, the daughter of another niece who...long story...not going there. Suffice it to say that S is not able to care for Hot Stuff Niece. In fact, H.S.N. has been given a lot of babysitting duties that are not really within her capability, and she could only do it when my mom was there to supervise. Which, now? My mom can not do.

Why do I have a feeling my life isn't going to be getting less complicated in the near future?

Oh, and Sweet Thing, I'll do your meme in a couple of days......maybe tomorrow.


I wish I could or rather, I wish I'd have thought of this idea sooner...

See, there are some of the people in the waiting room at the MICU that are there after being pretty much snatched out of a normal day, with no time to pack anything.

Methodist provides showers for the MICU families, but there was one very nice young man, with a broken collarbone, who had no more clothes to change into. I think his wife has been transfered to a regular unit, and I'll never see him again, but I wanted him to have some comfortable, clean clothing and some toiletries.

If I had the money, I'd set up a fund at the hospital that would provide clean clothing and perhaps a small laundry for the families too.

I wonder if we could set up a fund or account through an inexpensive web source of clothing like port authority clothing?

Friday, October 05, 2007


When I got to the hospital today, I went in to see my mom and discovered she was awake, and semi alert. Confused, but alert.

I asked her if she remembered where we were, and she indicated no. So I told her that the docs in BC had decided she was too sick for a little town hospital to treat adequately, so they'd transferred her to Methodist, and that she'd been intubated...ect.

I told her the date and the time of day so she could orient herself. She seemed a bit relieved. She was much more responsive today altogether. They changed her sedation medicine and are getting her to breathe more on her own. She'd been getting nauseous on the phenegrin, so they've switched meds.

'Pup's bosses have been very good. They've let him come in later so he can be sure I get to and from the hospital. 'Pup has a backload of work to do. He started his job about 3 months behind or more, as the position was vacant. Everything has to be caught up.

Tonight, I went with him back to work and did some filing, ect for him to knock out some of the items. It's 1:00 am now and we've just got home, so I'm kinda blogging in my sleep here.

The last few years have been somewhat.......eventful for us. I can't wait to get back to boring.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Life in the MICU

Mom's doing....about the same. She's responsive, but pretty much out of it with the sedation. She's intubated and she HATES HATES HATES things on her face, down her throat and up her nose, so...she's also had to be restrained as she'll take these things out and off if she can. This doesn't make her feel better.

I think I was able to come up with a way for the nurses (good nurses at Methodist btw) to attend to her without her becoming so agitated. She needs to know what they're doing and when and why. She is afraid of falling, and usually has hallucinations at the best of times when she's under partial sedation. So, even lowering or raising the bed or parts of the bed without warning isn't an advisable thing.

She does better with one of her daughters, or friends, there to tell her what's going on.

The family from the first night was in the waiting room again... about.....and I counted.....25 or so, including several kids. The count is only approximate 'cause the kids kept moving as I was trying to count them.

They're not getting any quieter as their mother/ sister /grandmother comes closer to her end. There have been many huddles of parts of the family as they talk out the ramifications and I suspect the doctor has brought up some hard options for them to consider. This stress is not taken quietly, nor is it endured without complaint. The youngest members have been behaving pretty well, but no matter how well they behave, there seems to be some older member of the family willing to punish whatever behavior that the adult wants to take exception to.

This, also is not conducive to quiet within this family, as they further discuss LOUDLY the different opinions of the punishment.

I am sympathetic towards their loss. They seem to be a close family. I just wish they'd be quieter, and not all invade the tiny waiting room at once.

Oh, and my niece gets the credit for saving my mom's life again... she was the one that noticed my mom too quiet, took my mom's blood glucose reading and when it came up as 54, called for an ambulance. This isn't the first time she's had the presence of mind to do this.

As I've said before, my niece is hot stuff. She's staying with us for now, and perhaps longer. She's a treat to have and we hope she can stay with us as long as she likes.

After (if) my mom comes out of the hospital, my sister L wants her to live with her. L is a nurse and she lives not too far from a very good hospital. If my niece stays with us, we can make sure my mom and niece see a lot of one another.

We still don't know what's going to happen. The tests haven't come back with definitive results, but she is being treated for bacterial meningitis, pneumonia (she aspirated some fluid when and possibly before intubation), partial renal failure and her liver doesn't seem to be working at full capacity either.

Thank you for prayers, and your good wishes.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


We're here at Methodist Hospital in the Medical Center. Mom was/is being transported from BC to here. The ride's about 2 hours.

They're not 100% sure of the diagnosis, but she is fighting something major. Renal function is down, she's not really sure of where she is and why and is a little combative. She's asked me to go get my father. She said he was probably waiting in the lobby.

When we got here in the waiting room, there was a HUGE clan here waiting. For what? I'm not sure. They were loud, foul mouthed and nasty to one another. They were finally asked to leave.

I dunno what's gonna happen.

It doesn't feel good.
3:00 am 10/3/07

Doc in the ICU said we'd know in about 24 to 36 hours if she's going to come out of this.

General systemic failure. Not good. Not good at all.


My mom is in the hospital with bacterial meningitis. Right now, I'm waiting for a call to be returned so I can go get my car fixed and then get to BC.

It's not good.

She's critical and in isolation.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Now, if I could just put my finger on the reason....

You Are the Thumb

You're unique and flexible. And you defy any category.
Mentally strong and agile, you do things your own way. And you do them well.
You are a natural leader... but also truly a loner. You inspire many but connect with few.

You get along well with: The Middle Finger

Stay away from: The Pinky

Well, I'm not so sure I'm all THAT fond of the middle finger. After all, its manners are sometimes somewhat suspect.