Gin rummy

I beat my mom in two games of gin rummy today, even though I think it’s the first time I’ve ever played.

You might think that it’s cruel to win at cards against a dying person. To you who think that, I say nyah nyah nyah! You are dying too!

Home from Ocean Shores

I am home. I am drinking a cold Coca-Cola. Ocean Shores was pretty decent, considering hanging out with 7 to 10 other people is not exactly my bag. I spent some quality time with the family. We didn’t kill anyone, particularly me. My family likes Erin. I like Erin too. I got some sun. And I got 5 books read.

Oh, and I didn’t get sunburned yesterday.

Now, what to do for the rest of my birthday.

Ocean shores day 5

I sat out on the beach in the sun for about 2 hours today without a
shirt. Can you guess what happened?

I got a few pictures of a bald eagle though no closeups cause a gull
started dive bombing him before I got near and he flew off to save his

Made chicken adobo for dinner. Decent, but too salty and I
overcompensated for my undercooked chicken from a couple of nights

Heading home tomorrow. Should be back in the afternoon.

Ocean shores day 4

The weather continues to be mostly dry and cloudy. Last night I was
nailed by a good allergy attack, but the loratadine seems to be
working. Joe wants to rent scooters but the idea of riding scooters
up and down a flat beach on a scooter doesn’t appeal to me. I do want
to explore the nearby state park and recreation area. Yesterday I
drove my mom and Erin to the beach for them to fly kites. I did as
well for a bit but there was little breeze so I sat back and watched.
Got a few pictures of Erin being cute blowing bubbles. She looks
particularly fetching today.

I’ve started on “the coroner’s lunch”. I’m really liking it. Gonna
try to finish it and get a good ways into “the vengeful virgin” today.
After that it’ll be only the thick slow books.

Ocean shores day 2

About half our troop is off on a guided horse ride down the beach.
Not my thing, so I’m sitting on the dunes reading “walla walla suite”.
I took a few photos as they began their journey. Jason and Joe decided
to be the coolest and wear helmets. This part of the beach saddens
me. I can see more vehicles than people, though a bit to the south a
moderate number of kites dot the sky. To me a beach is little fun if
it resembles a parking lot.

The go-karts earlier were fun. Erin got some good photos of me and
Jason. He’s got the dale earnhardt sunglasses look going on though
not really the killer instinct. Amanda had that.

Joe wants to ride scooters on the beach but that looks pretty
uninteresting to me. I do want to do some canoeing though. Waiting
for a sunny day for that.

Jason was unable to find a strip club.

Ocean shores day 1

Today is overcast, chilly and a bit breezy. Still it’s relaxing
weather. I’m sitting on the back porch about to read Jhumpa Lahiri’s
“the namesake”.

The deer ate most of the leaves from the bush we chopped down. It was
blocking the dock. Three baby deer (fawns?) And two adults.

Relations with the family have been good. Usually things can get
testy and there is still time. But we’ve stuck to making fun of each
other and they’ve let me mostly hang back. I mostly want to relax
while they are the types to want to do things. I do love them and
this is a nice place to hang.

Jason and Amanda get here tonight. Tomorrow will be a day of doing
stuff I’m sure. He’s better at getting me interested iin
non-relaxing things.

Not reading LJ (this is posted via email) but I am checking the email
and text messages.

Hello Tuesday!

Sometime after noon I was chatting with J. about coming over to help me per my post last night. I was still freaking out over trying to get much figured out, she was volunteering to help. But she had to be somewhere at 2:30 and I wasn’t comprehending how she would have any time to help me. It was somewhere around that point that she mentioned coming over tomorrow, Wednesday, that it all clicked.

What a freaking relief!

I went up to the U-District and had lunch at Rubies. Love that place. Read while I was eating. Bawled. Didn’t get too far while there. Then I headed over to Chocolati and read there. Teared up some, but I wasn’t completely overcome.

Came home around 5, and Lori Dyann stopped by and kept me company for a couple of hours. She played my Playstation 2 while I read. Still teary eyed, but having her here to chat and for me to occasionally watch one of her car races on the TV kept me going. I’ll actually complete a one-through of the book, though without having read the later chapters in depth, by tonight.

Tomorrow I’ll be re-reading some of the important organizing things. And I want to have some points in mind on pros and cons for a discussion with my mom.

While not rigid, it’s a structured plan. You have a group of at least 8 people, and group sizes in the 20s aren’t a bad thing necessarily. Their plan has everyone participating in an opening meeting. Over the course of the illness, the caregiving is suppose to be done in pairs or more except for the most innocuous of stuff. Each week is captained by two people who prepare a schedule of who is doing what over the week from the whole group. Then two different people captain another week. A lot of the other stuff isn’t novel for caregiving, but they organize all of this well. Step by step plans for doing most things, as well as general tips and warnings about anticipated problems. I’m really hoping my mom will go for this, cause I think all of us involved are headed for a burnout really quickly, and we’ve barely started doing anything.

I need help

I’m heading up to Lynden on Thursday to meet with a rep from Dynavox with my mom. I don’t need help with that. But it’s a good time for me to talk about some caregiving stuff with my mom. The patient care coordinator from the ALSA Evergreen Chapter recommended a book called Share the Care (website), suggesting that we organize the people who are caring for mom using the principles this group details. So I want to read the book before I go up there on Thursday. Meaning I need to read it Wednesday (since I finally got hold of it Tuesday). Actually, thinking about it right now I don’t think I can finish it Wednesday given the problem and it probably isn’t necessary to finish by Thursday or figure it out by Thursday. But I’d like to get a good chunk read.

Here’s the problem. I just tried to start the book before going to sleep.

I broke out in tears before finishing the first page.

I am going to make no progress that way.

So I need people to help me by being here, distracting me and comforting me when appropriate, encouraging me, and here’s an important part: leaving me undisturbed when I can focus. That means I really don’t need someone who will just hang out and chatter. Someone who can bring a book, or knitting, or cook, or something else for the periods when I can read without breaking down.

I’ll be calling a few people when I wake up to see if they can help. But anyone who has time I would appreciate.

I might set up at Chocolati on 45th or Victrola on 15th if that’s convenient (plus I can repay your time with a coffee at least). Definitely can’t bounce around other people’s places; need to stick in one place really.

I’m probably going to wake up late (given that it’s nearly 5 at the moment).

Thanks in advance if you can help.


The feeding tube will be put in next Wednesday. I had a lot more trouble understanding my mother today as well.

My stomach feels like it’s dropped out and my arms are kind of dead feeling. My mom is obviously going through much worse, but emotionally I’m being batted around with a 2×4.

I’ve got stuff to do tonight with someone who calms me, so I’m fine for now. I may need someone to come over and hang out tomorrow whilst I clean or putter or go to watch a movie or something.

Skipping work

Tomorrow after work I will be heading up to Lynden to help my mom figure out insurance. This means I cannot work my scheduled shift on Wednesday. As anyone who has worked retail knows, last minute changes to availability are a no-no in retail-land. It’s okay for employers to change your shifts on you anytime up to an including when you are there. But they frown highly on employees changing availability.

Hence, lots of retail folk post requests to trade shifts on break room bulletin boards.

My view on this is that I am not paid enough to manage the scheduling there.

I told my boss today that I won’t be coming in Wednesday and why. He didn’t give me flak about not giving enough notice. He didn’t ask me to find someone to cover my shift. He didn’t threaten my job.

He simply crossed through the 7 – 3:30 notation and wrote instead off.

Now, granted I’m not skipping because I want to go party Wednesday.

Also, starting next week I’ll just be working Tuesdays through Thursdays. This will last until the beginning of June, after which I’ll only be on on-call status. Basically, if the workload gets heavy, they may call me to see if I can come in the next day to pick up some of the overload. Which I won’t expect will happen too often, but it will allow me to keep my employee discount.