sarahbyrdd: (green acres)

I've been pondering backyard chickens:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/

Urban farming: http://www.growingpower.org/

Aquaponics: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/garden/18aqua.html?ref=garden

Meanwhile I'm waiting for my rosemary seeds (for the window box herb garden that will just have to do for now) to germinate.

In other news, I visited Dad on monday and got a tour of his condo/renovation project.  It looks super even if I think he needs a higher level of care, but anything is better than the house he's in now.   Conversations with Dad's partner in this venture, TS, reveal that TH hasn't been to visit since just after Dad's last hospital/rehab stay, when the drinking started again.  Sounds like TH reached the end of his rope.  Can't say as I blame him. 

sarahbyrdd: (rents)
And I only know because I dialed back when he didn't leave a message this evening ... and he's been in since Friday.  The system is broken, and I'm not sure how to fix it.
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

One for the move!  This week bytchearse took towels, sheets, and Christmas ornaments up to CT.  And I've done two passes through the closet and a first pass through the bookshelves to determine items that should go to Goodwill and not to our apartment (feels a bit strange to say that *grin*).  The top of my closet looks a little emptier. 

Meanwhile, Dad has announced that the house is on the market and he intends to move into his new apartment (one town over from the house) in January.  It's going to be a busy few moths.
sarahbyrdd: (work hell)
Things have been interesting here in Lawyerland.  I hunkered down and survived the bloodletting of layoffs to find the landscape somewhat altered.  They've cut all our after hours secretarial and tech support.  The upshot is that the secretaries are stuck working overtime, unless their lawyers foresee that they might need someone by 3-4pm and some calling around to find someone else to stay can be done.  I don't mind the extra money (when it eventually gets signed off on), but it's been hell on making after work plans social or otherwise.  Our only back-ups are supposed to be our cube mates.  In my particular case, this works fine when I'm backing up my cube mate, but not the other way around.  She often makes performance art of Being Busy, and resists transcription, which really is the best way to deal with DaBoss's work.  The cellmate is out today, and the phones were hoppin' all morning.  I anticipate summer vacations being problematic this year. 

Meanwhile, it's staff appreciation day.  The company sprang for a bagel and pastry spread (average) this morning.  Two of my associates gave me bags full of bakery treats (yum, but oy my hips!), and the third associate gifted me with an amazon.com gift card (WIN!).  Nothing from DaBoss.  Not surprised.

In other news, the BP meds are still making me feel a tad off, though I've improved from the weekend when I was feeling like I'd been slipped a micky.  I'm attempting to limit my sodium intake with varying success.  And I've got more tests tomorrow at the doctor's office.  whee.  I need to graph my BP so I can see if things are starting to trend down or not. 

Finally, the memorial service (as distinct from the interment) for the stepmonster is this Sunday.  I've been mercifully uninvolved in the planning, but I'm not looking forward to having to endure condolences and hearing how such a woman, who hurt me in so many ways over the years, must be missed. 
sarahbyrdd: (Default)
Got over tired (and stressed out) and the plague finally caught up with me.  

The news from the North is that Dad's been moved to the same nursing home where he was over the holidays to get his feet back under him.  Fractured ankle on one side and a broken baby toe on the other.  No casts, just boots.  When I spoke to him on Monday, he seemed to think he'd get sprung after a week or so ... so we're looking at this Friday or Monday for his discharge.

I had a doctor's visit myself for a long overdue general check up on Monday (also part of my stress).  It seems my BP is trending high again, and my first ever EKG was "wacky".  Um. Yikes.  I can't say I'm surprised, and the sources of my stress are no mystery.  Anyhoodle, the doc suggested that I go back on St. John's Wort to help with the stress/depression issues, and has admonished me to track my BP for the next few weeks and come in for a follow up.  Ugh. 

PSA

Mar. 9th, 2009 12:32 pm
sarahbyrdd: (rents)

Being a drunk, depressed and letting everything in your life, from your health to your relationships to your finances, slide is no way to live. 

I just had a conversation with dad where I was the one suggesting fiscal responsibility.  That's just a tad distressing.  He's being a bit more forthright about what's going on with him, which is a good change.  But circumstances (widowed, gutted IRA) are changing around him at a fast clip, and I seriously question his ability to cope. 

Not that I'm going to cope for him.  Completely impossible, I'm just barely getting my shit together after all these years.  I would like to continue my forward momentum, rather than being dragged backwards by his baggage.

sarahbyrdd: (Pennsic)

I didn’t make it out to MA to check on Dad this weekend because of all that dang snow. I’m actually good with it.  In my session with Dr. E last week, she pointed out that Dad’s not actually currently asking for any help. I’ll worry one way or the other, and this way I worry without having dragged back and forth across 3 states in one day. I do note, however, that there was a tinge of a guilt trip when I spoke to Dad yesterday, even though he called me twice to tell me to not come.  Be that as it may, all this ‘rent trauma obliterated my 2008 summing up post. Better late than never!

 2008 has been, overall, a remarkably good year. I have a job that pays well that I don’t hate which is allowing me to finally pay down some of the debt I’ve been dragging around for years. I became a godmother. I’ve gotten myself a therapist to help me sort through the tangle of my relationship with my father and his wife and their drinking. I’ve rejoined the SCA, made many new friends and found new outlets for various creative endeavors.  I took a 2 week vacation for the first time in my life, and it didn’t involve visiting family. I participated in monthly dinner parties with a group of fabulous women. I weathered growing pains in old friendships.  I did a ton of traveling for pleasure, and got into the habit of spending weekends outside of the city. I also took a big leap of faith, accepted the possibility of a life different than the one I'd created, and fell in love.

I know this coming year is going to have its challenges, but there’s also good stuff coming my way.  I expect my relationship with my father will change (for good or ill) without my stepmother around.  Pulling up stakes and moving to New Haven to cohabitate with Bytchearse in November, when the lease is up on my NYC apartment, will be Very Exciting! Very Scary!  Very Wonderful!  The great day-job hunt for a CT legal secretary gig will start in earnest in May or so, but I’ll also be looking for private voice students and possibly a paid soloist/section leader position at an area church/synagogue. Or, something else entirely may appear for me professionally.  I couldn't foresee what 2008 threw at me, who's to say I know what's coming in 2009.  I'll just keep looking for the bends in the road. 

Home again

Jan. 11th, 2009 06:18 pm
sarahbyrdd: (rents)


I spent Thursday and Friday in MA visiting with Dad, filling in the nursing home's social worker on his drinking, home situation, mobility, and helping Dad sort through some bills that urgently needed paying (and seeing first hand the disarray his finances are in).  I also spoke often with various relatives and friends.  Everyone is holding up hope that the stepmonster's death will be the pivitol event to help dad turn around his drinking, improve his health, get his knee replacement, regain his mobility.  I feel like Cassandra. 

Dad asked the housekeeper (who told me) to hide his booze so I wouldn't throw it away.  When I asked directly about his intentions of staying sober, he said he wasn't going to stop drinking.  When I pursued it, he said that his doctor would like him to drink less, to not drink every day.  I got no indication that Dad was willing to cut back even that much.  I found receipts from the local liquor store that indicated deliveries of 1.75 L bottles of gin about once a week, in his and hers brands.  His wife is dead and he's not hit bottom yet.

I'm furious, I'm upset, I'm exhausted.  I'm shuttling between feeling like I'm neglecting my father, anger at having to deal with all of this, anger at myself for my own financial shortcomings in the face of his financial disarray, self pity for all that has gone before and is yet to come, and resentment that people I neither felt wanted by or safe with (who should have been sources of both) somehow need me to treat them with compassion.  And yet, I also get the feeling that Dad wants nothing more from me than to be left alone with his gin.

Fortunately, I was able to take a few days break in New Haven and let Bytchearse glue me back together. 

Services and interment for the stepmonster will occur at some point in the spring.  As odd as it sounds, their tiny town needs to wait until spring to dig a hole in the ground.

Dad will indeed be strong enough to go back home by the middle of next week.  Grief-wise, he's clearly still in denial.  I expect it will hit him when he goes home.  With the housekeeper stopping in daily, visiting health care aides to continue PT and change the dressings on his legs, meals on wheels, the chair lift, and someone to drive him when he needs to get around his environment is considered acceptable.  I expect we'll be rinsing and repeating the drinking-hospital-rehab-home cycle several more times this year.

I'm limiting the amount of time I spend dealing with this per day, and I think I've used up today's allowance.

 

sarahbyrdd: (rents)
I had a perfectly mundane phone conversation with my father this afternoon.  He had some how "locked" the keypad of his cellphone and needed help figuring out how to unlock it.  I googled the problem and gave a possible solution.  Also, they will not be coming down to NYC in December (thank goodness!), and the housekeeper has a bad cold. 

We ended the conversation with him saying that he'd gotten a "cryptic" christmas card from a friend that basically said that 2008 is ending full of suck (economy, stocks, black man in the White House) but was otherwise great.  I said that didn't sound cryptic, but more ironic, or possibly sarcastic, and suggested that maybe 2009 would perk up.  Who knew that'd be a conversation stopper? *snortle*

And for the record, I'll say that while the economy is looking grim and some retrenching will be required in my world, 2008 has been a pretty fantastic year, and I have high hopes that 2009 will be even better.
sarahbyrdd: (rents)
After much back and forthing (on the part of the MA'rents), and with the blessings of Dr. E., I'm all set to spend tomorrow afternoon with the MA'rents and (in addition to introducing them to Bytchearse) tell them, kindly, but in no uncertain terms why I haven't been visiting much and why I won't be visiting much unless they make some changes (It's the drinking, stupid).  Having made the decision to lay that particular truth out there, and having sat with it for a few weeks, I'm feeling calm and reasonably good about it.  It's been helpful to 1) know I'll have Bytchearse with me for speedy application of hugs and emotional support once I've done the deed, 2) realize that whatever realtionship with them I think I'm protecting  by not saying anything doesn't exist, and 3) mentally prepare for the various possible reactions and realize that their reactions aren't the thing here. Its my saying it that's important.

Think good thoughts tomorrow afternoon.
sarahbyrdd: (rents)

1) I really wish my mother would figure out how to silence her cell ringer without hanging up on the caller -- so I could leave a message when she's with a client.

2)  Someone stomped on my toe (by accident) in the subway this morning.  It kinda set the tone for the day.

3) Spoke with TH. They're continuing to sort through the MA'rents's tax stuff for 2007 and prep 2008 with an eye to turning it all over to a book keeper. There's also talk of the MA'rents going somewhere for rehab (physical (and through the back door alcohol)). Some where warm like Florida or Arizona. Whatever. Ship them off to the Betty Ford, get em dried out. Stepmonster may or may not be eating, and she claims she's not drinking, but the gin bottle is on the table.   So says TH.  I'm going to call in the morning and see if I can catch SH for her take on things.   I'm also putting off my weekly(ish) call to the MA'rents until tomorrow so I can catch them before they're too boozed up ... and so that it's the same day as my next appointment with Dr. E, my shrink. 

4)  Amazingly crappy and stressful day at the office with several deadlines all piled up on each other.   My tum is still in knots, and the half sandwich that I have left from lunch may wait for tomorrow before I can face it.  On the other hand, all deadlines were met, by the skin of their teeth, and I didn't yell or burst into tears, so, I win.

5)  Thank goodness and little fluffy kittens, I see Dr. E tomorrow and can do a major vent, naming names and taking no prisoners.

6)  I have a great city weekend with My Feller planned.  Better clean up the not-so-secret-hideaway.  


P.S., GOBAMA!  I'm so happy to have someone from my generation heading to the White House.  

sarahbyrdd: (rents)

I spoke with my father this morning to follow up on his voicemail yesterday.  The stepmonster was taken to the emergency room yesterday because she was very weak because she wasn't eating.  They're feeding her intravenously at the hospital to get her strength back up.  I aired my concerns about their inability to take proper care of themselves in their current house.  Dad countered that his physical therapist was saying that he's doing better since they installed the chair lift.  Mazeltov, they're not having to do the stairs in the house anymore.  That still doesn't get the stepmonster to eat (and not drink) when she's home.

I'm feeling a little less panicked about the situation, but still overwhelmed by the magnitude of the thing.  I have an appointment on Thursday with a counselor who can hopefully steer me to a therapist that's actually on my insurance.  Yay Insuranace, Yay Employee Assistance Program, Yay understanding HR Director.
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

Well, there's another year's worth of High Holy Days Services done.  Check in hand! :-)  Overall I do enjoy these services: I get paid to sing, I enjoy the opportunity for ritual and contemplation, the rabbi is a fairly good speaker.  The downsides are: the alto is past her prime and has been approximating pitch for a few years now, you never quite know what's going to happen, I'm constantly reminded how seriously crazy many musicians are, it's a marthon, and I got 'tude from Da Boss about taking the day.

Still... my last regular opportunity to be paid to sing, and paid well.

There was a voicemail waiting for me when I got out of the service from my father.  He didn't sound good.  He needed my address to send me some of his opera tickets.  My father can't remember my address.  

Fiddle dee dee.  I think about that tomorrow.

Time to have a beer and find some dinner.

 

sarahbyrdd: (Default)
This is the same oogy feeling I had when I was gearing up to ask for a divorce. 
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

I had a thought about going to an Al-Anon meeting tonight, but I seem to be putting off that particular mental housecleaning in favor of some actual cleaning around the Not So Secret Hideaway, but there's still buzzing in my head:

Cut for excessive navel gazing )Edit:  Mom came over for some emergency shrinking.  Doing better.  Not looking forward to what I have to do, but doing better.
sarahbyrdd: (rents)
The stepmonster is back home.  She was released from the hospital on Friday to  nursing home, and checked herself out of the nursing home this morning against doctors orders.  They're now sorting out the confusion that comes with a long absence from home and leaving a care facility without the proper release.  I will say that I'm glad that she came home before Dad drank himself sick.  There's mutterings of getting down to the city before the holidays to collect her "reward" for abstaning from smoking for 6 months. 

There was also immediate pressure to come for a visit.  "I think you need to come see us", she says.  "Are you coming for Thanksgiving?"  I said I already had plans for Thanksgiving and I'd see what I could do about the rest.  The day she's home from an illness isn't the time to spring the idea that I'm not coming up for a visit longer than an afternoon any time soon.   Reminder to self:  there's an Al-Anon meeting around the corner tomorrow evening. 
sarahbyrdd: (rents)

No change with the MA'rents.  Dad's still at home, stepmonster is still in the hospital, no sign of a biopsy on the horizon.  TH's wife, SDH has been down for a visit and will be returning on Monday.  I encouraged Dad to unleash her on the hospital personnel to get some information about the diagnosis, prognosis, possible treatment, etc..  Having just done a few rounds with the Big C herself, I think SDH knows the right questions to ask and can work the system for the 'rents.  Good.

I had a good long talk with my friend R last night, and he was able to ask the right questions to bring out what was buzzing around in my head.  It boils down to 1) feeling overwhelmed by potentially being put in the position of taking care of the drunks and cleaning up their mess (which is going to be enormous as they have, to my knowledge, other than write wills, done no end of life/long term disability planning); 2) which I greatly resent having done everything I could from age 8 on to cause them the least amount of bother; and 3) it's bad maners to leave a mess behind you for other people to clean up.  Another example of the stunning selfishness of addicts.  

I'm angry.  i'm feeling vindictive.  None of this is very attractive, and I guess it's because I am fundamentally a caring person that I can't quite convince myself to just wash my hands of the whole situation, but it's tempting.  And I don't LIKE feeling angry and vindictive, but I can't find much charity in my heart for a woman who's been actively nasty to me for 36 years or so, and a father who's let this go on and wounded me with neglect in other ways over the years.  Oh yeah, and by the way, I'm angry.

sarahbyrdd: (rents)

I think I can safely say that the MArents lifestyle is no longer catching up with them.  They've been caught and are gasping in the bucket.  I got a call from Dad last night to say that the Stepmonster is in the hospital with pneumonia (again) and this time they think they've seen cancer on the films.   He didn't know if/when they were going to biopsy.  Considering her repetative pneumonia, malnutrition and underweight (not to mention alcohol addiction), I can't imagine she's a good canditate for chemo, but there may be other therapies available.  I don't know.

Dad's alone in the house and reluctant to hire a home health aid because of the expense.  He said he was "shocked", I imagine this is the thing he hoped the most wouldn't happen.  He's in no state to advocate and keep after the hospital staff for information, even if he could conceive of what questions to be asking.  I'm hoping that TH, the Stepmonster's nephew who is her secondary health proxy, will be agressive about getting information and sharing it with the rest of the family.  I'm going to give it a few days and see what information floats to the surface and then give him a call. 

For me, I'm thinking in addition to all my spectacular friends, the Al-Anon is going to be a major life-line, and I'm kicking around the idea of a counselor or therapist that specializes in end-of-life/bereavement issues.  I'm sure someone out there is working this niche.  The worst part is right now there's nothing to do but wait, and coil for the inevitable.
sarahbyrdd: (rents)

Number 1 wins!  The 'rents aren't coming to NYC.  

Dad:  I'm just letting you know that we're not coming.

Me:  So [stepmonster] still isn't feeling well?  Oh, I can hear her coughing in the background.  When's she going to see the doctor? 

Dad:  Well, she's just generally feeling yucky.  We'll let you know when we reschedule. 

Me:  Ok, you guys take care of yourselves.  Bye.
 

Ok.  I'm quite relieved that I'm not going to deal with them this week.  More time to work the program, as they say, before I have to deal with them in person.
sarahbyrdd: (rents)

Got a call over the weekend from my father to say that they were coming down to the city Tuesday-Saturday. 
Got a call this morning saying that the Stepmonster isn't feeling well and they've postponed travel by one day. 

... what are my bets that:

1) they won't make it down to the city at all, or
2) they'll make it down, muddle through their sojurn, and at least one of them will be sick and/or possibly hospitalized next week when they return home

When I first got wind of this trip last month I thought it had bad idea written all over it.

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sarahbyrdd

October 2016

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