Sunday, February 28, 2010


Recuperation is very slow.
If he can't go back to the day care I am not sure what I will do.
Thismorning was interesting-again- I thought he was still asleep but instead he was getting into his pants to get dressed by himself. His "pants" today was his best sweater which he stretched out over his derriere and forced the sweater to look like pants. Well, if it had been a plaid sweater he could have joined the

Then he did not like the oatmeal and put the stuff into my orchid plant.
My orchid needs feeding today but not that.
If he does not give it to the dogs he gives it NOW to the plant. New scenario.

I am going to shock my kids.
I have decided that I am ready to be dirt poor and put him in a nursing home.
They will take his his social security and his vet pension plus nibble on my house when I am gone.
I will be left with my social security which will hardly pay for utilities. I have made it so far during a war as a kid and many days of feast or famine with an artist husband , I am guessing I will make it some more but I am so friggin' tired. I am at the end of my rope.
It was easier when I had my faith. Over the last years that has faded until it is gone. I wish I still had that blind faith but it is gone and to face reality without that is very hard. Reality it is. It is life and life is not always kind.
To my Christian friends I would tell you not to try and bring me back in the fold. Please, leave me be.
My best Jewish friend knows that and she has been my sound board for over 50 years. She knows when to let me be.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I am walking down the long hall, faux marble floors shine under my slow shuffling feet. We have a slow rhythm my companions and I. One is in a wheel chair, head bowed down, perhaps admiring the floor too , the other pushing the wheel chair ever so gently.
The wheels are squeaking, another tempo to observe and interfere with my reverie.
I am thinking this is like an odd wedding cortege.
He hardly aware of the world, she to much aware of the what if's.
Towards the end of the hall we go, no alter, no clergy no I do's. We turn around.
The march now faces the shiny doors marked with all sorts of warnings.
Do not bring in a cel phone! Wear a mask when you sniffle! Do wash your hands!
Visitors under 12 not allowed!
Rules, rules, rules.

I have been married forever to the man in the wheelchair and last Monday we all thought it was his last day in this earth experience. I had been devastated when I saw the sunken in face , the ears glowing with the heat of a fever, the eyes now deep into the sockets barely opening.
I did not know how much I still loved this guy until it was going to be over.
I did not know how to let him go.
I thought he was taking me with him.
I cried, I sobbed, and yet I kept thinking of the many times I had wished it was over. When he started to hit. When he started to tell me to get out of his bed. When he yelled at our son like he was a stranger. When he no longer knew that I had been there all these years.

During the moments that he looked mean, cantankerous, and lost then I thought that he would be so much better off when in total rest.
Now that I looked at that sad figure on the bed I was full of remorse.
How could I have thought that this is what I wanted? How could I be so cruel?

People tell me all the time that I am so courageous to take on this task, keep him home and watch over him. Blah Blah Blah. Wait, people! Wait till you see the mask removed, then you will know what I was thinking. Courage? me?
forget it. ........
all of this is playing in my head.
The male nurse comes and tells me that I did a good job, I try and remove the mask and I tell him: You do not know what I call him when I am angry. I call him an asshole.
I wait for reaction, now the man will know who I am!!!He turns to me and laughs :"I bet you do, I would too".
That is his answer. Did he not hear me?
I am the monster who wanted him death last week , I am the one who now is weeping and it is too late.
I can't have him back...we are talking rules....resucitation....rules...funerals...rules.
the next day, he perks up! He even drinks a bit of Ensure. He smiles.
Gads! he smiled like he knew us and then went back to sleep.
Oh! that felt good! Oh he might just fool us all and make it.
As he got a bit stronger, started to eat something and started to respond I felt like I had been given my husband back.
What a joy!!!

Not so fast, Jeannot.
Remember the tantrums? Remember the hitting? Remember the daily wash? Remember the rejections to both of us in the house? Remember the many "unseen" friends you have to chase out of the room.? Remember how tired you are and he roams around and you can't take a nap?
Be cautious what you ask for Jeannot.
Be cautious!

So now we are home.
He fell out of his chair this morning.
The horror of a broken hip played out in my head but before I could get to him I
picked up my precious lamp he had hit in the fall. -Oh so I am back, the wicked witch of the West is back.

Son helps me to pick him up, he is fine, he got entangled in a shawl he had on top of him. He does not want to eat- so I worry- hates the milk (suddenly)- hates the Coke (suddenly) hates the oatmeal- what now?I worry and worry, what if he becomes to feeble??What if??What if??

I am exhausted from emotions.
I need a good shrink. Not Dr Phil do not think he is a qualified one, not Dr Ruth too late for that now, oh! I know Dr.Mc Dreamy from Grey's A.
What did you say? He is not a psychiatrist? Who cares, he will do fine.
I am on my way to Seattle......

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Feb 20 2010

All is well in our camp.
Old B did not want to get out of the bus for me the other night, nothing would do, he just did not want to budge.
Last week Bobby had to lift him out of the bus. I was not going to go that route.
The bus driver cajoled , I promised milk and cookies (his fave) , still nothing.
Then I had a flash :Your paintings are in there , Bob!
That did it, he quickly got out of his seat.
Came in and walked around.
He did not seem to know where he was and stood in front of his work , smiled and stood up to drink his milk. Did not touch the cookies and was ready to go back on the bus.
I knew that was going to happen so I
had locked the door, hid the key.
It took him about 2 hours before he started to find the bedroom and know that this is where he slept.
The most lasting memory now is his work. His paintings but he also starts to claim a Mary Cassat copy as his work.
Sorry, Mary!

Does it all get easier? Not on your life.
You still have that little doubt inside which tells you "this is for real, he really does not know anything anymore".

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Today there is heartache

Today, Valentine Day, there is heart ache, especially when Brie posted a photo of our wedding day , 41 years ago.
It suddenly sunk in, I saw these two people smiling, laughing, oh! how very happy we were.
My two best California friends were there. Kathy Hermle, the cut up, she was in full force with her "blue" jokes.
We did not tell too many of color jokes in 1969, but she did!
We were a good pair, she the outgoing full force woman, I (then) the mousy one. I remember when one day Sabrina started to complain that she had to go to the bathroom in a restaurant.
Ladies room had a line, Sabrina started to cry, Kathy grabbed her by the arm and
ran into the men's room with her.
She told the guy's in there that she was a nurse (she was) and that she had seen worse and in she went into a stall with my crying daughter. I was left outside and tried to find a place to hide.
My friend had a horrible battle with breast cancer. Took several years of pain to take her away. I wanted to go and say goodbye and she said "No, do not see me this way, remember me when..."
I do. I have her photo by my desk and I often smile on how we would fight at the Goodwill for the best bargains. It was a riot.
She was my ex husband's bosses wife.
When she found out the ex was getting remarried to a very young gorgeous Swede who was very pregnant....she wanted to take my girls in rags by the church entrance.
She was going to yell to the guest that he had not paid for his children.
I shudder at the thought. Of course , I stopped her. It did not stop her to put old blue cheese in his lunch box day after day.

April Lee was my other friend, tiny, fragile, had a hard life before she met her husband, artist George Lee.
He was older and he let her have anything she wanted, she loved animals more than people. She had a goat in the house, several cats, a dog and whatever stray she could find.
She and I opened up a second hand clothing store in Santa Cruz and there I met my Bob.
April much wiser to the world than I was told me that Bob was gay.
I said: How do you know?
She answered: He runs like a girl.
He did and it is funny to watch.
Gay he was not.
She was the quiet one at the wedding, her husband was the cut up.
He had been a child star in some movie, very well known movie which I forget now. His father had worked on sets all his life so little George went to work as an actor.
George past on and after he went April joined him also with breast cancer.
That was years ago but she did not get the help she needed because she was broke. The old story about insurance and the right care.
Her life was not easy, not by any stretch of the imagination.

So seeing my wedding photos I am thinking of all the people who make up the tapestry of our life-shawl.
My shawl is scratchy in parts, soft and lovely in pastel weaving in the middle and so far it is getting a tiny bit scratchy again. C'est la vie.
Would I redo my shawl, tear it all up and start weaving again? Not on your life.
It is what it is.
The scratchy parts made me look for something softer .
Happy Day!!!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

addition to Valentine Day

Husband believed in Astrology so he made up my chart before our first date.
I was lucky we were in the good graces of the stars.
I laughed.
I am glad he did not think to check the Chinese for he is a Tiger and a Tiger (say the Chinese) should never marry a
So much for fortune telling.

Valentine day

So tomorrow is Valentines day.
Bob and I have been married 41 years on that special day.
It was him, the romantic one, who wanted it on that day.
It was him who asked me to marry him dozens of times.
It was him who won out.
It was me who was afraid of marriage.
Afraid of the pain repeating itself.
Afraid that I just was not worthy.
Did nt someone tell me that for 17 years?
Did I not buy into that?

Early on in our relationship I became quite ill with
bouts of arthritis. I could not lift my arms, could hardly walk.
Did not fit in shoes, wore flip flops everywhere. The feet
hanging over the straps, they were that swollen.
Walking felt like walking on thousands of pins.
Bob decided to move in to help me with my girls
and cook for me.
It did not sit well with my next door friend, an old lady
full of old judgemental ideas.

He did not move in for an exciting sex life, did not come to
see if he could try it all out and then run.
No, he came to help.
Help he did.
He brushed the long hair on the girls even if they screamed because the knots were unfriendly this man did not do it like Mommy. They just tried him.
He would make and pour my coffee as I could not even lift the pot.
Many days now, I think of that. When the task is too hard and I feel like shaking him then I try to go back there.
Back to all his help and all his care.
I know he would do it for me if the tables were turned.
He would not question it, not for a moment.

Eventually I agreed to marry him.
We were broke.
He an artist painter, feast or famine life style.
My bookkeeper mother told me that we would starve.
When she met him she asked if he had a brother,
she fell in love with him , she knew he was so kind to me
and loved me.

I soon learned that this was a man I could trust, this was a man with integrity, he would not cheat on me.
He would do his best to take care of me.

So he did, for 30 years I was spoiled. He always opened doors for me. I never undid a grocery cart or took a bag in my arms, it was always him and he would not let me touch

He did the dishes, he only complained once about my cooking.
Honestly, once in all these years, I had made sushi with raw fish way before sushi was popular.
I promised I would never cook this again.
Well, I did not exactly cook it.

My oldest wrote this to a friend :
“Eventually, we were introduced to Bob and, in time, my mom fell in love. They were married on Valentine’s Day. I can honestly say that of all the people I know they are the only two I can honestly call ‘soulmates’. When they are together, it’s like the rest of the world doesn’t exist.

The love never stopped. Now when he no longer knows my name and he often kicks me out of the bed then I ache with an ache so deep that I cant begin to fathom it.
I tell myself that is not my Bob, but I cant truly believe it.
People tell me it is the disease.
Does not mean a damn thing to me, this is the man that I
love so do not talk to me about a disease.

I have consolation prizes, some days he kisses me on the lips, other days it is a barely peck on my cheek
I know when he KNOWS me.
It is all still there somewhere!!!

His brain is being attacked by some Pacman sort of enzyme but it has left a few little dots which tell him:
This is Jeannot, and all is well.

Alzheimer is horrible for the afflicted and probably more so for the caregiver. The last 13 years have not been a picnic
but then I KNOW people who have the same situation with a man who was unkind to them. Think of it how horrible that would be to end a relationship on that note.

I am so lucky that for 30 years we had bliss, how often do you hear that today?
Thank you, my love, thank you with all my heart I tell you that I love you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What now?

Got up after a hilarious dream.
Some friends, long gone, were odd millionaires in my dream and we were just traveling all over the place and having so much fun. I got up and giggled. That was a fun dream. Alfredo who was a cut up in life had continued to be so in my dream. A little dog was also on the scene.
I did not stay in that mode for very long as I felt the kitchen to be cold.
Touched the heaters and "cold" .
Ran downstairs to the old furnace and "cold" - not working.
26 degrees outside and a fierce wind.
62 inside , put in the electric heater which I can't put on high or the electric fuse goes. My fuse box is the antique kind but I doubt that I can get much on eBay for it.
The mood did not get better as I decided to wake son and ask if he could check the furnace. At that moment I did forget that he had a bout with insomnia and the last I saw him he had not slept for 18 hours.
To wake him up now was brutal but all I could think about was how cold I was.
Well, it did not all sit very well and we had an argument.
I crawled in bed with the covers over my head.
I had a brief moment when I truly thought that continuing this journey was getting to be too much.
I was totally exhausted of emotions, exhausted of not knowing answers, exhausted from life.
So it has been a shitty day and I can't wait till it is 8 o clock and I can put Bob in bed, crawl next to him and watch
American Idol.
I want to think of nothing pertaining to my life ,I want to hear people sing off key and fall asleep.
Oh btw son did fix the 50 year old furnace something to do with the pilot.
Right now I can't even think how great that was.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weather is all we talk about now

Monday Feb 8 2010

This much of winter has us all talking about nothing else.
Amazing how many words are uttered now about snow, rain, cold and so forth.
To say that we have had enough in the South is to voice it mildly.
Just think what the Midwest is seeing now. Probably it will come this way again.
Nothing we can do about it, not a darn thing yet we spend a lot of energy talking about it and writing about it.

Today it was a balmy 42 and when I checked the 10 day forecast that is the best "heat" we will have for the next week +.

I was able to have my usual walk with the dogs without falling over ice and snow, it had been weeks since did this.
It felt like I was a new person.

SO here goes : tomorrow weather , mix rain and snow.

Bye Bye

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This and that problem

Sunday Feb 7 2010

It has been a very hard winter so far.
We have seen enough snow and have not had too much help from
city hall in the clean up. Come to think of it, we had leaf removal just once, the rest just flew hither and yonder. There are still piles
sitting on some sidewalks. Cutting down labor, I am guessing, and rising the taxes anyway.

For me it is a hard pill to swallow as I pay two taxes, one for the county and one for the city. Not sure what the county does for me but I do know
the city charges plenty for water and garbage. You'd think that they would give us better service in the winter. If for nothing else but to avoid

OK this is my beef for today.

Now on to something I can do something about.
I have had a few very good weeks as far as my feeling more "UP"
versus "down". Good job! I tell myself and then I blew it again
last night.

Brie asks"is dad behaving?" I answer:"yes, because Mom behaved"
Ha Ha....not a joke.
When I am calm he is , of course, calmer.
How do I keep calm 24/7 with so many "little" occurrences which drive me absolutely nuts.

Why do I care for these little events?
I do not have a clue.
For instance, when he is home, he constantly opens the refrigerator door. Looks inside for a long time and then shuts it, not 2 seconds go by when he opens it again and this time takes out the milk.
He is now drinking more than 4 gallons a week.
This ritual happens probably 10 a 20 times a night.
He finishes his glass like he never saw milk before and put it in the sink.
Goes to the fridge and starts all over again.
By bed time I have - no exaggeration- 10 or more glasses and cups of
various sizes piled up ready for the clean up.
I get FURIOUS absolutely FURIOUS.
I tell him so, he laughs, he now has that laugh like a devious person and there is nothing devious about him -but there is that laugh.
So he goes to the fridge and starts again.

I am trying to play Dr Phil (not that I care for that man) with my own conversations.
Why?Jeannot? Why? It is only milk and glasses.
I have no answers.
Is the same routine getting to me?
Perhaps but then he follows me all day from room to room and when I turn around I step on his toes, does that bother me? Not like the milk.!

Does running out of milk bother you?
Yes, very much so, but I do buy 4 gallons when I go to the store.
Sometimes I miss my usual shopping day as I depend on the girls
to come and get me. Perhaps that is it?
I don't know.

Do the dishes bother you?
Yes, and I can prevent that.
I could use gloves as my hands are covered with psoriasis and
it certainly burns in the hot soapy water. Once the hands are
hurting I am thinking "I should have used my gloves and then it is too late".
Is that the problem????
I don't know.

Doubt that a real shrink would not know either.
The routine baffles me and angers me.
In the meantime all the milk is probably keeping him alive!

Another problem with keeping on being the "good Mama"
Every night, (he never misses a night) every night for years and
years now, he stands by the bed and points a finger:"this is me, this is you" . He indicates where we sleep.
5 minutes later he will make me go to the bedroom again and there goes the routine : "this is me, this is you"
I promise that I am not lying but he does this every evening for at least
an hour with 5 minute intervals or less.
After awhile of this I am ready to push him on "his side"
I am having a very hard time with this repetition.
We have so many others, like asking about the car outside and asking about invisible visitors for ever and ever and I stay calm.
The bedroom routine just is near impossible.
I tell him: Yes, that is your side has been for 40 years.
Like he understand 40 years.
Like he knows this second that this is his side but when he turns around
that thought has already escaped and he is wondering where to sleep.
I know all that, why is my patience so damn short.
If I get excited then pretty soon he looks at me and tells me to get the hell out of the house and all calm is gone. Bad Mama.

Give me another Lexapro, please, can I mix it with brandy?
Guess not.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

the snow blues

I can't remember now when the yard did not have a ton or patches of snow.
This afternoon about 3 o clock we start all over again. Mix they tell us, a mix. They are not talking about a nice Marguerite mix, no, they are talking about either an ice storm or more snow. Take your pick, oh no, we can't pick it just comes.
I have tons to do and I just SIT, I am not depressed, I am just tired of this snow and cold weather. Not to even mention the gas bill.
The two girls are ill and son has a tooth infection and in terrible pain.
Old Bob did not know a thing this morning, he did not remember the bus nor the driver and wanted OUT.
I pushed him back in and said he was going to a place where they sing!
I hope it is the singing day, oh well, he wont remember that either so .....
He got up at 5 and maybe this is why I am just sitting here.
Bring on the flowers, bring on the spring.
enough is enough

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I am having a big surprise in one of my games. I love to play Farmtown it keeps my head at another place for a few minutes. It is a distraction.
One puts up a farm, houses, rivers, etc...the more you play the more points you get and can add to the decor of your farm.
To put up a flag you need special points, either you buy them or you work for them on the farm.
I am not about to buy anything for a free game so I wait till I have enough points by "working" the farm.
I put up a Belgian flag. Thought it neat to have that and then work for the American one. Thought perhaps I also would gather Belgian email friends.
Well, you can also hire other people to plow and harvest your farm.
I have made friends with many from different countries. That is a plus of the game.
After about 2 months I am following a pattern now.
When I "hire" people to work on the farm there is a new twist. Several have stopped (their avatar)right by the flag and have not continued to work.
At first I thought it an internet glitch but it has happened to often to be that.
So how dumb is that?
First of all I think perhaps "they" do not even know that it is a Belgian flag.
Will they only work on American farms? How ridiculous an attitude is that!
It is a game, guys.
It is a friggin game.
Get a life.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Short month, Feb 2010

Small victory , yesterday with very little arguments his majesty shaved by himself.
Not only that he did a great job, remembered to go under the chin and under the nose (a bit).
I was very pleased.

Snow still stacked around us so the bus did not pick up people for day care!

I look at the snow and imagine that the tulips are pushing under the earth and hoping to come up soon.

Yeah, life is OK.

I have a luncheon date on Wednesday and I see on the weather map that
it should be sunny. After that it will be till next Tuesday before we see sun again.
Yup more MIX coming.
It is a winter to remember.

Bobby has a very bad infected tooth and I do not know how we will get some antibiotics. He just can't leave the house. It is frightening.

Sabrina is ill in bed for day 4 with a very bad cold. So the kiddies being sick is not very good in continuing to be up.
I try my best even with old grouchy being grouchy in his corner.