Thursday, July 14, 2016


Another June 12 start …

You never know if it is going to look better or worse in the morning. This morning, it was better. And part of the better were the very sweet and connected notes I received in response to the blog that I wasn’t even going to post. And from as far away as Japan, where I didn’t even know anyone was reading anything (of mine).

And imagine being vaguely cheery after discovering that Janet has thrown away or misplaced the much-needed screen to the French press, leaving you with less than stellar coffee. In other positive developments, Janet found the energy to clean the kitchen last night and then moved on to the bathroom! So those two constant tasks are off my immediate list. And she is back on antihistamines and topical cortisone, so she is feeling somewhat better.

I spoke to both of my brothers last night about her worsening memory. I would that I could get her to understand that exercise, both mental and physical, help a good deal. I did get her to agree to do some reading and make a personal phone call today, so we shall see how this goes.

June 13

Yesterday, Vera Paris brought me a "prize," as cats do, for the first time.

Yes, it is an unexploded firecracker. I think she picked it out of a neighbor's yard where she occasionally treks. She was all ready to take it apart. Very proud of herself.

Ups and downs, that's what we can all expect. Janet has been low key and spacier, but she does rally every once in a way, usually at my behest, to do some cleaning, as I mentioned. We only have two days of allergy testing left and she can go back on steroids and get her rash cleared up. She hasn't wanted to go to her Senior Lunches or church, which accounts for part of her vacancy. The stimulation is critical at this point.

Mr. Merle Black just came in through the window (not the bathroom). I think he heard Janet in the kitchen opening cat food cans.

My focus is on incremental change. To that end, I reorganized my dresser drawers. This caused some greater cleaning of the surfaces, dresser, chair, bed. Maybe more organization and cleaning tomorrow, but the ever-needy garden calls as well. I had a surfeit of vegetables today. I just don't feel like cooking, which is not good, given all the work it takes to grow them. But those damn spider mites take advantage in this hot weather.

I got in two swims this week and have only half-mile to hit my weekly goal of two miles. I can feel that I am stronger. Endurance and exhaustion are not what get me out the pool, it is boredom. (And I was really hungry today.) However, I need to augment swimming with taking Janet for walks. I have let her be as I know she doesn't feel very well right now, but she is markedly better when she has been for a stroll.

AND I went to hear some music last night, even though I couldn't find anyone to come along. It was quite good. Y'all who like "country-ish" and "Americana" should check out Parker Millsap (Heaven Sent is wonderful). He brought along the guitar teacher he started with at age 9 (he's 23 now), Travis Linville. Great mellow crowd.

Yesterday was a good one for the thrift store as well as I found some new things for my mom and did not buy any knick-knacks (some great vintage Italian mohair/alpaca wool for knitting, though). I found a couple of good books (I know, I know), one of which was a book of poetry by Kay Ryan. So here goes


Intention doesn't sweeten.
It should be picked young
and eaten. Sometimes only hours
separate the cotyledon
from the wooden plant.
Then if you want to eat it,
you can't.


What's the use
of something
as unstable
and diffuse as hope—
the almost-twin
of making do,
the isotope
of going on:
what isn't it
the envelope
just before
it isn't:
the always tabled
righting of the present

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Later that same day, June 23, 2016

Is floodgates? Or just simply a lock on a canal. Even though there are sunflowers visibly happy outside the window as well as zucchini, grape tomatoes, and Japanese eggplants, I am overwhelmed and enmeshed in sadness.

Although I have stopped my knee-jerk barking at Janet, I have not gotten over my anger at her. And although the taking-to-task was not conducted at any voluble volume, I still harangue her. Why cannot I try a little tenderness. And why does writing that simple sentence bring tears to my eyes? There is something there I have yet to get to.

I don’t want to be mean or unkind. I want to do patience instead of aspiring to it. (OK, CB: There is no trying, just doing.) Yet, this does not come easily, naturally, or any other way. So, now I ask myself what barrier is this.

There is something here as the tears flow more decidedly. Janet tells me she did the best she could and begins her own tale of parental woe. This does nothing to assuage me. An anger at the cosmic could-have-been/should-have-been of my life?

11 July 2016

Yes, I know I won’t make it even close to a whole post. It’s that danger hour between 12 and 1 a.m. when I need to not be sitting in front of a laptop screen, whether I am writing or playing solitaire.

Janet’s facial allergic reaction is back with a vengeance. From what I could make out of the pages that the allergist gave us, she shouldn’t be on any kind of antihistamine or steroid when I take her to get tested this week on four separate days. She’s been reasonably stalwart in bearing it. We tried so many different home remedies, the best of which was oatmeal.

Her short term memory is completely gone from what I can tell. She doesn’t remember when this bout started or how many times it has happened (4). It is so crushingly hard to be around. She seems more vacant than usual, possibly because of the heat and her discomfort. I haven’t had the heart to hassle her into walking or anything else.

Almost 12 July 2016

Yes, it is late again, although not that witching hour. I'm rather spent and feeling down again. I suppose it was not a useless day as clothes and bedding washing happened as well as some deep cleaning in the kitchen (not that there is not more to do). Plants were watered this evening. I got Janet to the allergist, ran by the library, filled up with gas (and frozen yogurt) at Costco. I even managed to get some ironing done and some packages mailed.

Still, I feel oppressed and failed. 

I suppose this is all I can do: the best I can. Keep trying. Go swimming as often as I can get myself out of the house (did not happen today). 

I don't mean for this to be a diary or even a journal, but that seems to be all I am capable of at the moment.