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It has been a busy week; a tiring week; an exhausting week.

On June 26th, Sunday, we held a (F)UN birthday party to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday.  Her birthday is actually in January but no one wants to travel in January.  It was quite a success, with my sister flying in from Arizona, my neice and two daughters driving down from Michigan, my daughter from South Bend, along with one of her sons and his adorable girlfriend, and nephew and his fantastically funny wife coming down from Wisconsin.  The rest were from all over Indiana.  Mom was dully surprised.  When daughter brought her down from her apartment, to the building’s common room, she couldn’t figure out why I was taking a picture of her and who was that woman who looked like her granddaughter standing next to me also taking her picture, until she realized it WAS her granddaughter from Michigan.

Picture of my daughter, mom, greatgrandson and his girlfriend.

It was fun watching her wheeling around in her power chair going “Oh, you too!” as she spotted her sister-in-law, sister, and old friends.  Some of the food (mostly that made by my husband) was a big hit.  My potato salad needed doctoring.  The cake from Sam’s club was great.  People didn’t just eat and leave and that made it nice to talk with everyone.

Sheryl, Mom and sister, Eve.

Sheryl, Mom and sister, Eve.

I, and my daughter from So. Bend, had been planning the party for three months.  We even had blue grass music compliments of Dan Cantwell, of Travis Creek Band, from Nashville, Indiana and our boy, Jacob Wells, who sings with the band occasionally and threw in some country music. My family is an artistic family and used to my uncle playing guitar in the background, so it reminded the relatives of him. I have movies of Dan and Jacob up on Youtube. My Youtube name is SAVanVleck. You could also search for Jacob Wells. He gets good feedback on his singing. I’m trying to link it but ……. haven’t got that down.  I think I have to upgrade to link a movie?

I would love to say that the band in front of the window was a wonderful cinematic affect, but I’m afraid the shaky camerawork and the one place of missed lyrics will make that a true lie.  I plan on rerecording this song when I can and have my tripod with.  I am afraid I am developing a family tremor.  I used to shoot 35 mm photos at f-stop15 with nary a shake, now I can’t hold it still at any speed.

Now, the bad of the week: A few days before the party we found out that my mom is in Stage 3 heart failure. With that, and other problems, the doctor has decided to have Hospice come out to her apartment. It is really a blessing. It will help ensure she is getting the best of care and take a load off of me. I suspected last month, as I purchased only a small amount of food for her that she wasn’t eating right. This month, it didn’t seem as if she was eating at all. Turns out, she is too tired to eat and they will figure out what to do about this, and send people out to help her with her personal needs and her house cleaning needs.

Today, when I went to her apartment to give her a shot (of blood thinner) and take her for blood work and meet her new Hospice nurse, she met me with: “I’m not stupid.” I told her I knew that and asked what was wrong. She decided that she only had six months to live and I was trying to hide it from her and that was why we had the party and Hospice coming out. While it is true she could only have six months, it is also true that she could have only one week or she could have two years, and we started planning the party months before I found out. I think she finally believes me but I am pretty sure that I will have to settle the matter several more times before she moves on to something else.

I have always wondered at older people saying they have no one left alive (no mate, no children, no friends) and so they are ready to die. I miss people who have died, but I do feel that life is a blessing to be lived to the fullest. Yet now, as I look at the photo of my dad’s family that I posted two months ago and realize that there are only two people left alive in that picture: my cousin, Richard and my sister, Evelyn. There is something that sets you adrift when you realize you are so close to being that alone. I mean, I have a family other than dad’s family; husband, daughter, grandsons, but not so many of those people who were there when I was born. It’s just strange.

I’m limping from sciatic nerve  leg pain, tired from everything, including taking steroids for the leg,  and probably boring, but meeting all the Hospice people makes it all so real.  Thanks for listening.

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I have trouble sleeping.  Not just sleeping, but also staying awake.  At times, I fall asleep with my head on my keyboard.  I usually fall asleep in moving cars (fortunately only once while I was driving), and I tend to doze off when visiting people or sitting.  The only time I don’t fall asleep is at night. 

Since my mother, age 88, has always gone to bed around four am and gotten up around six, I think this may be something in our DNA.   She has been observed falling asleep twice while standing.  Perhaps we were the watchmen/women for the tribe of cavemen we belonged to.  It was up to us to keep sabre tooth tigers at bay.  Now, all it gets me is angry snorts from the dog, who also refuses to move over when I finally am ready to sleep. 

I was recently put on a CPap machine.  (Officially, I wake up 7 1/2 times an hour and 80 times during REM sleep.  And, we wondered why I remembered my strange dreams so well!)  The machine really worked for about two days.  Then, I turned the heat up for the water a notch and slept great for about four days.  I’m up to five on the heated water thing and am thinking by 10 maybe it will just boil my lungs and I can sleep. 

Anyway, here I sit, having reformatted my computer yesterday and with barely anything on it, but the internet, and I am learning so much.  What did you learn, you ask!  Oh, come on, pretend you care even a little bit.

  1. There is a reason people find these cute names for their blogs.  Anyone who uses their real name eliminates all the fodder that their family gives them for blogging.  I mean, when you name it Braindebris, you don’t have to tell anyone who Braindebris is (It’s my daughter by the way, but don’t tell anyone.)  But, naming your blog savanvleck, kind of ruins the anonimity you want for telling on your relatives.
  2. This is for the times when you realize that Facebook has educated you to the fact that you are staunchly liberal and the rest of your family loves Sarah Palin, and that if your sister asks you one more time, to declare your love for something, you are going to…..  Frankly, I think I am exempt because I, obviously, was stolen from the Gypsies as a child. 
  3. Why can’t we have two Facebooks.  One for people who want to stay in touch with other people and see pictures of their children and another for people who are looking for radishes for their imaginary farm?
  4. When you format your computer (and since I have done this like every three months this year, I should have known this, but, when you do, you lose your favorites and stay up till 3am searching for things like, “Librarian+Seattle+Blog” to try and replace the bloggers who must be your real family because they laugh at the same things you do. 
  5. Of course, since it is 3:00am, after you have spent three hours searching, you realize that you blogged about the science teacher who blogs a fascinating science fact every day (Mr. Barlow’s Blog) and have a link in your own blog to him.  I imagine I might have realized that sooner at 3:pm. 
  6. My computer, a Dell Inspiron 1545 (who before I trash talk Dell, I will say, has the most awesome customer service on the face of the earth) has many flaws.  See numerous previous posts for those rantings.  But, the most irritating one I was left with (warranty is now up) is that I type over 100 wpm and for some reason the cursor jumps around all on it’s own.  So, I will be typing away and realize that the cursor is now two lines above where it was and I am typing stuff in the middle of another sentence.  Well, this format I did the smart thing and I downloaded new drivers for the touchpad, first thing.  It has not done the jumping around thing all day.  Fingers crossed!
  7. That I still do not remember how to post links well on WordPress.
  8. Well, folks, that wonderful little pill I took two hours ago is starting to work.  I guess it is time to fight the Chihuahua for the bed.  Sweet dreams in your REM sleep. 

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Every time something bad would happen, when I was a girl and mostly in school, I would come home and complain to mom and she would tell me, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” 

Frankly, it did not make me feel one whit better.  Not one.  And, I mumbled all evening about a God who has nothing better to do than to screw up my life.  Couldn’t he feed one of those starving children that I was so diligently cleaning my plate for, to make sure they got enough to eat?

There was another premise that did not make a lot of sense to me.  It went right along with how much protection I thought I got hiding under my wooden desk from an atomic bomb attack. 

While attending Casper College, in Casper, Wyoming, I studied under and with Lynn Munns.  Lynn became a great friend and fantastic mentor and, excuse me if you have heard this before.  I used to just not “get” modern art but something made it all snap into place for me and Lynn made the statement about this phenomena, that you may see or hear something a thousand times but you need to be in just the right place for it to snap into place.  He was so right.

Which was just a huge, no humongous build up to a very small story.  I was reminded of it by scratches on a scrap of paper but I read Crazy Aunt Purl = via Crazy Aunt Purl,  titled: You Got My Attention with your Big Orange Sticker and finally remembered to blog the story.  Check it out.

The poor State of Indiana got my attention, but it was with a small paper orange sticker, stuck ceremoniously on top of a sign warning travelers, going probably 50 mph, of upcoming road construction.  Some states have huge bright lights that shine in your eyes.  Others flashing, spinning orange ones.  Indiana had taken three post-it notes and mounted them on a wire above the sign.  The orange notes spun around the wire and made a truly impressive warning sign.  NOT!

Guess, God and construction workers work in mysterious ways, or I just was not in the right place to see the brilliance of it all.

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Presenting Teachers in: BUTTS ON ICE « Braindebris\’s Weblog

via Presenting Teachers in: BUTTS ON ICE « Braindebris\’s Weblog

Today is the one year anniversary of the last post on the Braindebris Blog.  Now, I may be prejudice, since Braindebris is my brilliant daughter, but I think that her short blogging history is some of the funniest stuff you will ever read.

You just have to check out the holiday blog:  “Deer on, Deer off, the Clapper”  and  the  one about cleaning the rabbit’s cage.   They will make your day.

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After informing everyone on Facebook and Twitter that the Geminids meteor shower was at its peak yesterday, I went to bed and forgot all about it.  Senior moment or Alzheimer’s?  Of course we had not seen anything in the sky, but grey and snow for days, so I did not hold out a lot of hope to see them.

When we lived in Wyoming, we had seen everything in the sky.  I remember getting out of the car every night and watching Haley’s comet.  Every rainy season there were double and even triple rainbows in the sky.   Yes, I know, Wyoming does not have rainy seasons.  But, it does have triple rainbows.  One night, I sat curled in a blanket on the front porch, and watched a lunar eclipse.  Another night, all of us went in the back yard, with lawnchairs and sleeping bags, and watched a fantastic comet show.  They sky’s in Wyoming always seemed to have a show.  It was just when that show became fire and smoke that it was not fun.  Three years of having our area burn around us and it just seemed like we were playing Russian Roulette

Last night, at 2:30 am, the dog decided she had to go out.  I slipped on my boots and grabbed a sweater and stood waiting for her.  She has had a problem with her back leg recently and it seems to be cramped up and frozen when she comes in.  She is twelve years old this month and has had bone problems for years.  I keep an eye on her for that and the fact that we have had a coyote walk down our driveway and a fox den in our meadow.  She would make a tasty morsel for a coyote.  Then, I remembered the Geminid meteor showers.

I began looking for them and soon short streaks were random in the sky.  It was two hours after they were to be at their peak, darn!  I think I made it all of fifteen minutes outside and then came in and watched from the window.  I saw a streak every five minutes probably but it was enough to wake me up to all the things that we can still enjoy, sans money.

Sometimes, with all the neat technology upgrading almost daily, I can feel left behind.  We have very basic cell phones and a cheap computer, but the really important things in life are still here for all of us.  Where I live it includes seeing triplet fawns in our yard all summer, and coyotes and fox and blue herron in the pond.

And, to the readership of this blog, who has still checked in, even when I seemed to abandon you and even though I still do not use punctuation properly.  Thanks to all.

Check out the stars tonight and smile.

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Snow is here. I woke up to about an inch and a half which is now up to about three inches. Since no one had to go out today, it was a good day to read the paper.

We live in a small county with a weekly paper. It isn’t very large; two to three sections with maybe a total of seven pages.

As I learned today, our town has won $2,500 to do a survey of trees located in town right-of-way “last winter” and the survey is almost complete. Our town is three to five blocks long; depending on how you could classify the property that has a liquor store, pharmacy and Subway. Which may be the single most important section in town. You can have dinner, get drunk and get aspirin for your hangover in one stop shopping. So, when they told me that they were just now finishing up, I was a bit amused, to say the least.

Okay, they aren’t just counting them, they are noting locations, species, ages, conditions and other pertinent information; and all in an effort to prioritize aged and dying trees for removal. Since this is a tourist town, I suppose it is cheaper than a tree falling on a tourist. THAT is definitely not good for business. But, that’s only an aside (and perhaps the longest one on record).

The fun part of our paper is called THE FINE PRINT: It’s the Sheriff’s log.

When my grandson went in the Army, I tried to write him once a week and always included items from the Sheriff’s log. Now, grandson/son is in the Army, in Germany. When he was in basic, I sent him items from the Sheriff’s log too and he read them to his fellow soldiers. But, it seems that with the economy the way it is, the crazies have gone underground (looking for work?) and the crime rate has gone up. This is just not near as funny as it was, until today.

This one could have had serious consequences, so I don’t mean to laugh, BUT – What the **** was the woman thinking?

911 caller on * Road advises she fell down three flights of stairs under a refrigerator a few hours ago. Subject advises she did lose consciousness a couple of times then and has been throwing up since. She wants to know how long before ambulance arrives.

Why, in the world, would anyone, man or woman, try to move a refrigerator up three flights of stairs alone?

The other one that caught my eye was a 5 p.m call:

Caller advises a man is selling her son marijuana and he doesn’t need to do that.

You tell him, mama!

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To all Sci Fi fans out there.  You better hope there is NO other intelligent life in space.  If there is.  If they find us.  If they come down and begin coating our world with some guey substance so that our wildlife and our ecological system is all mucked up.  Then they sit back on their backsides and wait until we are drowning in this gue.

Well, if that happens, do not expect a speedy response.

You will have to wait for a counter-attack on approval with the state agency, the coastal agency, the federal agency, and those same aliens, before our government does anything to protect us.

Something is so wrong with this picture?

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