Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Savannah Ga

We, Sabrina and I will pick up Zack at the art school on this 4th of July week end.
Traffic will be something out of nightmares but wr are returning on Sunday.
I am now on week 11 with the back issue but feel so much better.
Therefore I have been feeling caged in and the lioness wants OUT!
How Bobby survives in this house for years is scary to think about.
I can't be locked up for 11 weeks (even then I did go grocery shopping)

Savannah is not my fave.
Brie and I did shows there and we had a few bad experiences there as vendors and
people trying to steal our Father Christmas dolls.
We had cop escorts out of the building.
A jeweler had her stock stolen at her motel, van empty!
That does not only happen in Savannah, people who steal find venues were
money and goods are and follow either the money or the

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

4th of July

Looking forward to the week end.
Sabrina and I will go to Savannah and pick up Zack from summer art school.
Think he is doing fine, he won some sort of contest first night there.
I love that kid, I helped raise him in out shop and studio when he was a baby.
Shop was downstairs our doll making studio was over the shop so he could be with us as Bob and I were working.
Had a play pen there and a place to sleep but mostly he slept on my lap what can I say.
Now he towers over me like a big football player but he loves art a lot more
his grandfather would be pleased.
We will stop at the beach and have some extra sunshine too.
Yea Yea yeah

Monday, June 27, 2011


I am noticing that my comprehension or quick knowledge of what I am looking at is out the window. That is frightening, it reminds me..........
For instance our power was cut for an hour or so and I was over anxious to get it going so I could do some work.
No lights went on (because we were asleep when the power went off) but the timer on the stove was lit. Son showed it to me without saying a thing and I wondered why
he kept showing me the timer telling me it was 7:13. What did it mean?
He was no help until exhausted he said: "Mom electricity!!!"
I felt so stupid and realized that often on regular daily stuff my comprehension is slowed down.
OK so I make up another thing to worry about.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

About birthing experiences

The other day had a great lunch with writer friends and my best friends here in Hville. I think they had an idea that I was and am still angry about a lot of things not the least retraining my mind to the positive. That part had been lost during the caregiving of Bob. All three of us, Bobby, Sabrina and I feel a lingering of feelings unknown to us before we became caregivers.

Somehow the conversation turned to our time in Spain and becoming pregnant while living there. My friends said to write it all here I go:

Moved to Southern Spain in early 1970. My new husband had said that he would never live in America under Nixon but that in truth, was not the reason we left with 2 girls ages 10 and 12 , 4 suitcases and a terrific spirit of newly weds and adventure. We had other problems with drugs creeping in our valley and politics not to our liking.

We lived in a very small fishing village. Had purchased a very small apartment with a view on the Mediterranean when we stretched our necks out the balcony.
It was a small paradise. Tourists were few as the hotels we few then too.
Now, Nerja, is filled with every inch, huge piso's and full of tourists.
The fishing village swallowed up in the shade of concrete towers. I went back and could not find my way!!!!!

While there I found out that I could buy as much Valium over the counter as I wanted but THE Pill was a big NO NO. OK so start with the Catholic system in exchange. I remember reading "Love Story" and I became sort of sick. I had no energy, cried, laughed, was on a roller coaster. I did not get better and decided to see the only doctor in the village. He took care of the babies, your grandma's gall bladder, your boyfriend disease he got from sleeping with the foreign girls, and then there was I. I had Rhonda with me who was already well versed in the language. Doctor nodded and nodded. What was his problem? I knew I had leukemia
I just knew it. Then he asked me when was my last period.
I was puzzled, I said I was late but it was not unusual, I had cysts and was not regular at all. He told Rhonda he would do a test and see if the rabbit would die.
I laughed out loud, I said I am FOURTY!!!!I am not going to have a baby. Drs in America knew better they said I had a tipped whatever.....
Next day back to the dr. he talked too fast, I did not get it and Rhonda jumps up and down. I am still thinking leukemia. Then she tells me: I am going to have a brother. That is what the doctor said. WHAT???I am too old!!!!

Fast forward to September 1972, we now live in a fantastic gorgeous villa as caretakers for American Friends of ours. 4 bedrooms ,4 baths, huge terrace with view on the sea, on a clear day we can see Africa. A gardener and a maid comes with it. I fire the maid as I was cleaning before she came and was uncomfortable with the care but she continued to show up and was paid by the friends so I ignored most of it.
We were surrounded by the best older people, she was British down to her finger nails and tea habits, he was French down to all his sex jokes. We adored them and vice versa.
They loved the girls and the fact that a new baby was on the way.
Helen would come on the hour to check how I was doing. My mother came from Belgium to help when baby would be here.
I went to see the doctor and I had problems with high blood pressure. He suggested I'd see a gynecologist in Malaga and gave me his name.
The dr. to my surprise spoke English so at least I had a conversation on my own on this growing belly. He told me that he was going to London for a week when the baby was due. I panicked, not to worry he said I have plenty of midwives to help.
Seeing that I was a bit in shock he told me that he really wanted to induce labor as I was ready to pop.
Next day I come with my entourage of Helen, Alfredo, my mom and husband and we start the procedure of enduced labor.For some reason we started this in the doctors office so I felt good that he was near.
My on lookers sitting around in the large room together with a silent midwife. Everyone looked at me for the whole damn day, you could tell that they wanted this over with and go home but I wanted it a lot more.
Baby would not budge after 9 hours trying.
Exhausted we all pile up in Alfredo's car and go home.

Sept 4, labor day at home, gruesome murders in the Olympic village but we
ex-patriots as we are called know nothing of this.
My water breaks and I stand in the living room while my dog Julie just stares,
the girls, mother all join her and do the same. No one is moving.
I tell Rhonda to go to Helen and say it is is finally time....

Now I have to explain that proud, boisterous Alfredo had to have the biggest automobile while driving in his hometown of Paris. it was a sleek, long, long Oldsmobile. He could not go in some of the small villages as he could not turn the darn thing around. He was very proud of that sign of prosperity.
So, in the car we go , the old couple Bob and I with child making funny moves in my body.
The road then to Malaga followed the sea, it was all winding, no straight spots, 2 lane, very small ones and it was not unusual to see a rusty car 100 feet below the edge into the sand. No guards on the sides either. Spain was poor and had suffered a lot during their war.
I did not feel the need for emergency and knew I still had lots of time but Helen decided that it was time for calm and some sort of British dignity while pushing the envelope. She took her white hanky and waved it out of the window to alert the drivers around us. Some would signal us it was ok to go around the bend.
Helen's voice was starting to crackle a bit as she would yell "Ayuda" or "Au Secour".
We figured that the ever present Guardia Civil would find us somewhere, I can't remember how long it took I am thinking about one hour to get to the big city.
Somewhere near Malaga a motor escort showed up and we followed them all the way to the private clinic.
It would have made a great Italian movie scene.

Did I know I was going to be in a private clinic?
No one had said that but it was where el doctor would bring babies into the world.
You were supposed to bring clothing for the baby and be prepared with bottles ....and have a maid or at least a tia (Aunt) with you.
Say what?
Rested in a large room next to me my husband with his "Science and Health" book by Mary Baker Eddy. Bob was a Christian Scientist. He kept telling me that I was going to be just fine. I believed him. I was beyond excited that after taking such care of my girls, adopting them and loving them, Bob would have his own child too.
Having said that in all our wedded years (42) he never made a difference between the 3 kids, Never!
In the other corner sat a silent midwife, she was rather hefty with gorgeous long black hair tied and running down her back. She was very interested in her knitting, perhaps she was counting stitches and had just fergotten about me.
I startled her with my "Senora! Mira" and I pointed to some spot between the legs.
She jumped up and actually ran to the bed looked under the covers and said one word:
"La cabeza" and ran away swinging the door behind her.
A stretcher was there in seconds and off I went to the delivery room.
I had to leave my glasses behind and could not see within more than a few feet in front of me.
Whoever was going to help me to go to sleep (he never did) was poking at my teeth and I growled, then he figured that I did not have false teeth he let go and I said " These are mine"!!!!
I noticed black stuff crawling in the light above so I asked someone what was that crawling, I was reassured with the words : "Nada"
Having heard that and the giggles I insisted a bit more and they confessed that cockroaches were inside the neon covers but could not get to me.....
welcome to the hospital!
The doctor was dressed in all white and mask and said very little, but son was ready and they did not even have to tell me to push he was on the way in no time.
The proud doctor said in glorious voice "Hijo!" a son, Spanish men love hijos, macho ones, of course!!!!!
I was just in seventh heaven!!!
They brought me to my room which looked more like a parlor from the Victorian days.
Huge furniture with lots of tassels, it was a standard then , tassels under every couch and chair and lots of gold designs.
This room has huge windows, and long heavy wine colored drapes.
I was put in a regular bed and I asked Bob who was just standing there like a stone Bishop on the square, I said: Where is my son????Where is my baby???
He looked puzzled and said "In the chair!!!!"
I said: Give me my glasses quick!
Indeed a bundle was put down on the seat of a stuffed chair. No crib in sight.
A person showed up and I asked where the crib was and she asked me where my maid was. Say what? Or a Tia? she asked. No, no one.
It was expected that one would bring "help".
There was a storage area I was told for cribs etc....
The "baby" was naked in a blanket. I was asked where his clothing was?????
I had delivered 2 girls in the USA and this was not something I had expected.
So Bob ran to downtown to Woolworth ( had just opened) and got some baby clothing for his son.
Later on we just could not get little Bobby to latch on for breast feeding and
I was told to get bottles very quickly, again father ran downtown to get bottles and whatever else we needed.
They would not give me medication to dry up so Dolly Parton sat up in bed in terrible pain. Finally they came with a sheet and bound the sheet tight around me so the milk could not come in.
Meanwhile my mother had come to visit and wanted me to home asap as this was barbaric the way these people are treating my daughter.
Mother thought that Spain belonged to Africa and that Europe ended at the
Pyrenees. She did come to visit often and did not mind it so much in the end.

Once home it was a guessing game on what to feed the kid.
No formula was established at the "hospital", they said it was a powder and the maid knows it.
The "maid" was now my mother who did not understand anything besides "si" and "discuenta" (discount).
So we just winged it.
We did not give this kid shots till it was LAW before he went to kindergarten.
He was healthy and full of beans , he was constantly following the gardener and
Paco adored him. His beginning words were "dirty squa" .He would mix up the two languages.
We plain forgot to announce him to the city hall, doctors do not do that either,
so months later we got him in the embassy and got him his American papers.
Yes, if your parents are US Citizen and you give birth in a foreign country you are still an American citizen. How cool is that?


And this big Belgian/American engine thinks she made it up the hill once again.
I feel like the back is just about back to normal.
Now and then a little warning not to do this or that and I watch it!!!!
Next month we visit dr Bones (Check out his wardrobe) and he will say that I am healed.

Amazing to me is that they take out a kidney full of cancer, sew me back up and
that was not such a big deal.
Falling on my tush and messing with Mr. L vertebrae and it is a mess for weeks.
I can't even remember how to spell it.

I even walked 2 dogs at the same time this morning, that takes some muscles.
OK, they are little dogs....I doubt I would walk 2 Rottweilers....

Have a great week I will be in Savannah not my favorite town
but I will be out of the house!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

quote for the day:

"Excuse my dust."
— Dorothy Parker

I do not even seem to care anymore either.
That is the bad part.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 8th - his birthday

Soon it will be the first birthday without him and without cakes
and well wishers.
Last year we went to the home and brought the large cake.
He was very confused about it, ate a little bit of it.
Did not want to sit in the special room and was uncomfortable
until we walked back into his hall way and the familiar nurses.
He would be 85 this year.

I miss him so much.
I dream about him almost every night and I tell people:
He has Alzheimer he does not know you.
Sometimes he drives and I say to him that he is not
allowed to do that, he ignores me, of course.
The years of caring have taken a toll on me mentally
as well as physically. I am a very changed person.
How so?
Sometimes I am bitter, it is not my nature to be so.
Sometimes I feel that life is cheating us.
Sometimes I wonder why I thought our golden years were going to be so
I did not prepare for Alzheimer, who does?
He over came prostate cancer and he was very healthy.
I was the one who came down with bronchitis and bad throats.
He sat , read his Bible and Mary Baker Eddy so I figures as a
devout Christian Scientist he would overcome anything.
He spoiled me too much with his kindness and being a gentlemen.
Also Gentle.
He was such a nice human being.
I was so lucky so I should shut up already!
Looking back on the last 3 years I just do not know or comprehend
from where I did get the stamina to do the housework and watching him
day in and day out. The laundry was always in piles being behind.
Sheets had to be changed every day and often the covers too.
Food had to be smashed like for a baby.
He had to be dressed and he did not want to bathe.
A biggie.
How did I sleep at night when I was searching with my arm to see he was still in bed. I did that for months but stopped doing it a few weeks ago.
I am thinking that Bijou is him when I wake up < a few minutes later I
remember everything. Not Bob, it is Bijou.
Where did my courage come from then and why am I lacking it now?
I use the word "courage" in a French sense.
Mother always said : "Courage" meiske" she'd mix the French and Flemish like
we always do (that generation). I hear her whisper it and I am thinking
what the I need courage for?
What is there to do?
Whatis there to look forward to?
Never mind, I ran out of my Lexapro for 5 days next week I will
be more alert.....need my drugs I think.

JUNE and allergies

I usually do not suffer that much but son does.
Having said that I woke up with a swollen face
my eyes sort of looked surrounded by puffiness but then
the wrinkles were gone, yet it was not a pretty sight.
Oh well, Claritin here I come.
Son also has poison oak as he helped in the yard and I
forgot to kill the darn stuff before they worked on it.
The june bugs are everywhere it is a pleasure to go out
at night and see the little lights flicker all over the place.
Bijou thinks he should catch them!
Two more days before dr Brooks I am anxious.
I have been very lazy.
Need to start on jewelry

Thursday, June 2, 2011


It is June? Where did April and May Go?
Oh! That is right, I was in the Vicodin sleepwalking state of mind.
Visit to Dr. Bones on Tuesday. Xray will tell what is happening.
This is more pain than I bargained for.
The surgery was not so bad but falling on the derriere is not so good when
you have my bones, I guess.

Tired of the whining and tired of not being able to do much.
I did cheat and did vacuuming and Sabrina will have my hide if she
finds out.

Planning on getting back to the jewelry next week.

The yard is starting to look decent thanks to Sabrina and Stone Crazy Gardens crew.
I have ordered more hostas as I will have a whole plot with different types of hostas under the trees.

Sat to have lunch on the porch and noticed about a dozen different birds coming to the feeders while the squirrels stay on the grass to get the crumbs as we do have squirrel proof Yankee feeders. If they try and stand on them they go flying,
they do not get hurt they just fly to the next tree and probably have hearts pounding. We buy premium food not that small yellow junk so they have to learn to share.
Bobby saw a chip munk too, I did not see these here before.
The "pond" has been cleaned and 3 happy little fish dart about so I hope that Mr. Heron stays away.

I am doing well as I am a survivor (that is what people say) but then...aren't we all survivors?
My sainted mother-in-law told my dear Bob: If you do not like this or that then you will have to get a gun and shoot yourself!"
So that is what we don't do , we just take it another day at a time.
My Mom said if in May 1940 she would have been told what the next 5 years would be she would have swallowed all her pills. Instead she did it , she survived one day at a time. Some were very hard and some we pretended all was fine and sang songs in the shelter. I learned to play cards at age 8 from grown men from the electrical plant. I became very good at it and I started to wish for the siren to go off and
run into the bunker built by the plant.
This past year, March to March was a horrible time for me, especially when Bob left for good this time. He had been leaving for so damn long. Now when I think of the cleaning , washing, feeding, cooking I did while watching him like a hawk for all these years I just wonder how I did it. Where did I get the energy? A survivor?No, you do what you have to. All the caregivers do what they have to do and take it
sometimes one minute at a time.

Son who has agoraphobia for many years now said that he would not have believed it if someone would have told him he would be here for 3 1/2 years in our house
and not been able to go 100 yards from here, in that same time he lost his wife and had to deal with his loss too. I often wonder how he is doing it. I would call him a survivor first class. BUT he is doing it most of the time just one hour at a time battling panic attacks and anxiety.

I am thinking that the next year has got to be fabulous.

My only handi cap is the hearing loss. That is the only bug in my daily life. I have had 4 different hearing aids but they are just aids. I can't go on a tour even local ones, I could not hear the guides. I'd be afraid to miss the buss, and if you can't hear a guide what is the use of going.
In the olden days I would pay the way of the girls and we would be off to somewhere, Belgium, Destin or wherever but I am no longer in that financial boat.
Since childhood I always wanted to go somewhere...anywhere.
A suitcase is a happy time for me , I should have a big smiling face on my luggage.
Well, I have been many places and I am happy with memories, that is terrific and also a bit of a lie.
Good night.