Archive | March, 2017

A Matter of Life and Death

29 Mar

I have just finished reading two books written by physicians,  about the ways people torment their loved ones when death is on the horizon.  One is Extreme Measures, by Jessica Nutik Zitter, and the other is Modern Death, by Haider Warraich, and I heartily recommend either, or both.  Dr. Zitter takes a more “human” approach, while Dr. Warraich discusses, among other things, the way cells die.  All cells die; if they did not, we would have 9 miles of intestines and almost two tons of bone marrow in our bodies by the time we reach middle age.  It’s the cells that refuse to die that cause cancer.

Dr. Zitter writes about how families either refuse to face the fact that their loved one is dying, or they want the doctor to do “everything possible”.  Neither is good.

Yesterday was the 48th anniversary of the death of President Eisenhower (yeah, that’ll make you feel old!) and I remember my daughter, who was seven, asking us why they kept poking him.  The wisdom of a child!

Ask your doctor what he wants done when he is in his final illness.  Chances are he wants to be kept pain free and then “go away and don’t bother me”.

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The Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day

22 Mar

Actually, today started out fairly well. There was a want-ad in the local paper for a receptionist, every other weekend, from 10AM to 7PM. I called and got the address, but the GPS didn’t like it, so halfway there I had to call The Squire and ask him for the phone number. I had omitted one digit from the address. Filled out the application and spoke with the lady at the desk, and things seem to be OK, but who knows?

I stopped to see Granddaughter-in-Love, and visited with her and the baby for a while. I had hoped to stop at a nursing home to visit two ladies from church, but I didn’t have time, as I had to stay with the other great-grandkids at 1:30, so “Mimi” (my daughter; their grandmother) could go to the dentist. Before she left, Mimi showed me where the Keurig machine was, as she knows I am a coffee hound.

That was when things went downhill in  hurry. Mimi was there when I arrived, and gave me a list of phone numbers and showed me where the snacks are located. “The Princess just went down for a nap, so she should be good until I get back. Butch has been down a while, so he might wake up in a half an hour or so.” She had no more than closed the door behind her when The Princess sat up in bed and started to cry. I watched on the monitor for a few moments, hoping she’d go back to sleep, but no such luck. I went up and opened her door, but the child-proof gate was also Gran-mama proof, so I couldn’t get in to collect her. I asked if she wanted to come over and I would pick her up, but she waved me away. Closed the door and she started wailing, loud enough to wake her baby brother.

Great.

Took Butch downstairs and sat him in his highchair, and I could see she had gotten out of bed; back upstairs and lifted her over the gate. Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I carried her downstairs and the three of us sat on the sofa. She stopped crying long enough to admire my shirt, and then rolled into a ball and started to fall asleep.

Butch crawled over and pulled her hair.

I couldn’t find their phone, and discovered I’d locked my purse – and my phone in my car. The Princess was bawling her eyes out, and I was afraid the neighbours would think I was killing her. I want my mama! Where is Mimi? Finally, I put shoes on the big one and hitched the little one on my hip, and we set off with the paper with the list on it, to knock on doors until I got somebody to call their mum. I was about to give up when a truck pulled in down the street, so we hustled over there. I introduced myself, and the fellow said he knew the children and their parents. He called my granddaughter at her work, and she came home immediately. As in five minutes!

She called The Squire, and he agreed to come up and rescue me. What else could he do, poor soul?

Granddaughter left Butch with me and took The Princess to work, long enough to clear her desk and forward the office calls. The Squire arrived a few moments later, and I told him about my day. It must be the phases of the moon, because he said he had written down the address and when he stepped out of the door the wind grabbed the slip of paper and tossed it into the stream.

And I couldn’t figure out how the Keurig machine worked.

A Last Hurrah

14 Mar

We have hardly had any winter at all this season, but apparently Mother Nature had one of those “Hold my beer and watch this” moments.

It started snowing around 8:30 last night, and by 1:30 or so this morning it had turned to a mixture of freezing rain and sleet. Yuck. We only had an inch or so here, but it was treacherous. Sirens were going all day, and I heard a tree fall a little distance up the road when I went out to feed the birds. Blazer went leaping across the carport for his morning constitutional, but made a sudden U-turn when his feet hit the snow. He did follow me to the feeders, but returned to “dry land” and waited for me to come back.

It started snowing and sleeting again a little after noon, but it really didn’t amount to much. With the wind and the sleet, it sounded as if somebody was throwing pebbles against the window.  At the moment, it is above freezing, so everything is slush, but it’s supposed to go down to the mid-20s after dark, and then the world will be one huge skating rink.

Local Grandson is a lineman for Baltimore Gas & Electric and was “lucky” enough to draw storm duty today. He doesn’t mind the work, but people who act as if he personally turned off their power, and the ones who insist they should be first “just because”, are, quite naturally, annoying and just make the work harder. If you see somebody up a pole, go take them a cup of hot coffee.

 

 

 

Greedy, Greedy

11 Mar

And see where it gets you!

A quick trip to the discount club this afternoon, and there was a kiosk offering free samples of peanut butter-cheese crackers, if you swiped your club card. There were a whole bunch of people waiting in line, and we didn’t want to wait.

There was a woman at the kiosk, holding up traffic, swiping her card again and again, piling up packets of crackers and dropping them in her purse. She must have had a dozen.

Willing to bet you that she didn’t notice the sign:

Free Crackers – One to a Customer

Additional crackers will be charged to your account.

Ha! Take that!

The Amazing Flying Woman

6 Mar

Saturday I tried to see if I could fly.   I can’t.

As I was coming down the stairs, my foot slipped on the carpet on the fourth or fifth step from the bottom and I went sailing.

I landed on my side on the floor. Missed the carpet, of course. A huge bruise on my cheek, and my ribs are sore – I probably only bruised them, but there is nothing to be done with ribs in any event.

The Squire was at the “Y”, but Blazer came over and helped. Stuck his nose in my face, whuffling and snuffling to see if there was anything he could do.  Dagnabbit, dog, but it hurts when I laugh!

If nothing else, we can be sure I don’t suffer from osteoporosis.

Lenten Observations

1 Mar

We have a supply priest at our parish, and after looking at the attendance from the last two year’s Ash Wednesday services, it was agreed that it really wasn’t worth her coming all the way from Hagerstown, especially in view of the fact that there are several other churches in the area that were “doing” ashes.

I went up to St. Alban’s, a small 1928 parish not too far from home. It was wond-erful! I have absolutely no problem with female clergy, same sex marriage, and most other things that come along, but when it comes to liturgy, I am, to quote an old friend,  a flaming conservative. Sort of “Give me ’28, or give me death”. Well, maybe not that bad, since I’ve been managing for decades now, but you get the idea.

We had been told the service was at 10:30, but it was at 10, so I managed to be late in spite of my best efforts, and walked during the sermon, which was quite good. The celebrant was fairly young (although I am of an age where most professionals resemble Doogie Howser.) It was the assistant who caught my eye.

The church apparently has two assistants. One is a man who recently retired from a parish where he had been since the days of the Ark – and the Dove. (Marylander inside joke; look it up.) The second is the elderly priest who was “on” today. The dear man has Parkinson so badly that he looked as if he was disagreeing strenuously with every point in the sermon. He was also in charge of ringing the Sanctus bells (the only thing I didn’t enjoy) and they tinkled almost constantly.

Everything else was very High-Church. The celebrant had a maniple, and wore a black zucchetto for most of the service. When the two men processed out, they both wore birettas. (Biretti?) The assistant’s surplice was lace, and the priest’s vestments were beetle backed. Good Heavens!

Biretta and Zucchetto. Sounds as if it might be a law firm – or a pair of gangsters? (Is there a difference? Oh, be nice!)