Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: Windy Day At The Marsh

(I have no idea why the video uploaded so blurry like this, but it did. This is not what the video looks like on my computer. Oh well, it sure was beautiful to watch a shorebird murmuration.)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Late Winter Doldrums

We've been home for two weeks now since our month-long journey south and back. In that time I've downloaded exactly two photos, and you've already seen one of them, the beautiful heron. I've got 19 photos on the camera. I'm trying to decide if I should just delete them. There's one rainbow, three photos of a nice hailstorm, ten of a sunrise, five of a Goldfinch in the neighbor's yard. Meh.

When we were in Capitola, the temps soared into the high 70s and low 80s. It was a true winter heatwave. Since we've been home, it's been crazy wintry record-breaking cold here. One night last week, I woke at 2:30 am and checked the outside temps. It was 26 degrees. So, I turned on the porch light, went out and grabbed the hummingbird feeder and brought it in. Didn't want those hungry little hummers trying to get nectar from a frozen feeder. Those are cold temps for the north coast. We're expecting three inches of rain next week. Photographic opportunities are slim right now. So, unless that sun shows up and dazzles us with some atmospheric optics, it's just late winter bleak doldrums here.

My mom is moving in with my sister on Friday. She has lined up two caregivers who will provide 24/7 care. I feel a sense of relief knowing that my mom is going to be out of that memory care facility. The caregivers there are as kind and supportive as you would hope and expect them to be, but the ratio of support to the number of residents isn't enough for any one resident to get the kind of care they need. We're all hoping that this move will be good for my mom and that how ever much time she has left will be spent in comfort and surrounded by love. We're planning a trip down to southern California to see her in April.

Roger convinced me to finally go to the drugstore to buy a brace for my sprained/broken? wrist. It's been funky for a few weeks and not getting better. It's the wrist I broke when I was six years old after watching the Olympic tryouts for hurdling. I thought hurdling looked like fun so I tried to hurdle the backyard fence. It didn't work out well for me. I probably should get the wrist x-rayed but the thought of urgent care places during flu season just doesn't seem all the inviting. I'll have to think about it.
Okay, here's one photo of the hail in our yard. See what I mean, meh.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Fossils

It had been such a long while since we had gotten to see the fossils during a minus tide walk. For a few years the sands were very high and had covered all of this beautiful ancient history. So, we were really happy when our time in Capitola coincided with a significant minus tide and found that the sands had washed away.  The fossils that we hadn't seen in such a long time were finally visible again.

This last one is significantly different from the others. Nice large bone of some sort. I've done other posts about the fossils here, if you are interested in reading their history. I am such a huge fan of fossils I have even googled around to see how I could be fossilized after my death. Wouldn't you like to be a fossil too?

Monday, February 19, 2018

No Words

I have no words.

I keep trying to write something here.

What would it be?

I have no idea.

People have guns.

People are dying.

The president is a scary buffoon.

The oligarchy has won.

I will have to march in the streets again.

I am afraid.

I want a different reality.

I am too old for this.

What if it never changes, or gets worse?

What if we forget the dead until the next time?

What if the crazy one gets a second term?

And then... there's our beautiful dying planet.

And my beautiful dying mother.

My plate is full.

Let's march like our lives depended on it.

This is not a poem, this is my brain wondering why it has no words, cohesive thoughts or ideas.

Monday, February 12, 2018

1600 Miles Later

After four weeks on the road, we are finally home.

Here is what it looked like at sunset facing east on our last night in Capitola.
We ran outside to the watch the waning light. That's when we noticed three young teenage boys huddled down outside our fence on the walk into town. They were obviously doing something they didn't want us to see. They got very nervous when we walked over to the fence to take pictures. Oh yeah, one guy was dealing some pot to the others. He got up nervously and hustled up the walk quickly. We kept saying, "It's okay, we're only out here to watch the sunset. Don't worry. It's okay." But they looked at us like we were going to bust them. I felt like saying, "Take a look at us, do we look like people who haven't smoked pot?" But we just reassured them as they ran on by. We had a good laugh remembering what it's like to be young like that.

Sunrise the next morning from nearly the same spot.
We woke at 5:00 am, had our tea and toast and then did all the work getting our stuff out of the house, clean the kitchen, and do the final inspection to make sure the next family members who arrive at this 80+ year old house will find it as pristine as possible. It's quite a task.

We hit the road at 7:00 and were home by 1:30. Roger did all the driving. There were moments when we were rolling down that highway, tears were rolling down my cheeks. Life is hard sometimes. This is one of those times. These sunrises and sunsets of life.

Monday, February 05, 2018


My mom was released from the hospital on Thursday, February 1st. She had been in there for a full week. In that time she was diagnosed with the flu, pleural effusion and another UTI. My sister visited with her everyday and sat at her side for hours. She was acting out in ways that were so troubling, she required 24/7 care at her bedside to keep her from pulling out her IVs, etc. During that long stay, it was finally determined by many doctors that she should be on hospice care when she returned to the memory care facility. And that is what happened.

On the morning after her return she was up for breakfast and then spent hours in the office of the care manager, just hanging out and enjoying ambiance of office work space. It must be a wonderful reminder of her 40 years managing doctors offices. Look at her after the brutal week she had.
Is she not spectacularly amazing, this 92 year old woman with lymphoma, pleural effusion, a pacemaker, and Alzheimer's? I look at this photo and I think, "no way this dynamic person is ready to be on hospice care." And yet, she is. While she is sitting there the pleural space between her lungs and chest cavity is probably filling with fluid. It will continue to do that. She may go off hospice for one day next week to have a drainage tube inserted which hospice would monitor afterward. It's comfort care and not life-prolonging. We're waiting to see how that will work out for her. She does have some issues with tubes and it could be pretty damaging for her to fuss with it and try to tear it out.

While she was in the care manager's office, my twin brother emailed a photo of himself in his backyard. He wanted my mom to see the beautiful garden space he has been creating back there since his retirement. She loved looking at the photo. She said, "Oh Michael, he's so handsome."

It is a heartbreaking time for our family for so many reasons. But we all agree on this one thing, that this beautiful, vital, and cared-for woman will be loved all the way to the end and then ... and then... evermore.

Thank you all for your kind good words, loving energy sent from afar, and all the shared stories. We are all of this big human family, connected by our hearts.