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courage to change the person I can, and the wisdom to know that it’s me.”
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Teaching An Old Dog

I filed to have my father committed yesterday. The court approved it. The hearing is Wednesday the 22nd at 8am at the hospital. He checked himself in because he was vomiting blood again (still vomiting blood, but worse). Black blood. Internal bleeding. He didn’t call me, he told my aunt, because “she’s mad at me”. Heartbroken, yes. Mad, no. She did convince him to sign Durable Power of Attorney for healthcare for him. She tried to have him list me, he refused. I saw him Thursday afternoon briefly. He was reserved. He is retaining fluid and is bruised from falling into the front door. He didn’t fracture anything but he looks pretty rough.

I hadn’t been over to the house since late July/early August when we cleaned out the shed. The sorted piles are still sitting in the back yard and he has added to them. I went in the house to get Wiley and if anything it’s better, yet worse than before. There is less space to walk due to the shredded newspapers all over the floor but it looks like he has moved quite a bit out of the right side of the living room, you can see to the windows now, where you couldn’t before.

Wiley was elated to see me and nearly jumped right over the gate whining in excitement. He’s here. The ear infection has returned, he’s lost weight from the cheap food he’s been given when (if) he gets fed. The canned food that I took back when I brought Wiley there the first time was still in the bag – unfed to him. He had no water. I couldn’t find the collar or leash that I bought him on the last round but I did find a modified “harness” that appears to include a collar that is similar (though I don’t think it’s as thick or wide) as the one I got him. He doesn’t really need either, except to keep him out of traffic when we go to the car. I put it on Wiley and it doesn’t fit right, cuts into his legs. His toenails are really long again. Linda gave me some money for food and vet care.

She also gave me some gas money for Eric to come home. I woke up just before 6 am and texted him to see how far they were and he sent back that they are sleeping right down the road from me at a friend’s. WTH? He said it was late when they got in and he wanted to surprise me in the morning and just show up. WTH? The last thing I did before bed was text him to see where they were and he goes to a friends? Damn. I want my son HOME, I don’t give a rats ass what time you get in! Wake me the hell up! I haven’t seen you for 6 months and you go to a friends house? Damn kid! I want you home so I can watch you sleep and rub your head and be in the same space as you are.

The men in my life frustrate me to no end.

As for the old dog. He cannot give what he does not possess. His idea of love and family and caring for one another is so deeply buried under his self-preserving mentality that I am not sure he is capable of selfless love. No one has shown that to him to teach him. Till now. When I saw the house, I knew he was trying to clean it up – for me. Not because it’s unsafe or unhealthy or horrible. Because that’s what he sees as the way to a relationship and he doesn’t know how to get there and being locked up last time hit home for him how serious this is and he doesn’t want to lose his freedom (at any cost?, yet to be seen). He did not, this time, indicate to anyone at the hospital that he was suicidal or thinking about hurting anyone else. I had decided months ago, and discussed with his sister, that the next hospitalization I would take the reins for his care – in his best interest.

From the reaction of the woman who was managing the papers, the judge apparently didn’t hesitate to shut the door to his freedom. The Sheriff will serve him papers at the hospital. He’s going to be pissed off. He is where he needs to be getting mental health care, physical health needs met, has the nurses and social workers catering to his whims and many people to talk to. The social aspect above all, I think is what leads to his downturns. I cannot provide all the social interaction he craves and he is either incapable or in denial about needing people. He has ostracized everyone who ever cared for him. 3 wives, 3 children, friends, social groups. He has grand ideas for what he wants to do and see and make and he is running out of time. He was 78 in September. He was making an effort to care for himself – it’s just too much for one person to handle and being emotionally unstable he’s a time bomb. I could not emotionally manage to go there, even though I saw him trying. For that I feel guilty. Then I remember, his emotional issues happened long before I came on the scene and are not my fault. All I can do is show him unconditional love in the way I think is in his best interest, even if he’s mad about it, in the hopes that he find joy in his remaining lifetime. I can explain it to you, I cannot understand it for you.” He has to do the hard work. I will feel safer visiting him under the watchful eyes of the healthcare community. I can rest at other times knowing he is receiving regular meals, regulated medication, social interaction, mental health counseling and I hope start thriving.

Eric (and Lily) came home last night. They did it for me because I asked them to and because they were at a critical junction about to have his car impounded. I need his help with the cleanup. I am asking a lot of my son. I cannot do it myself, I have neither the energy or fortitude to face this hill. I am concerned about health hazards and traps that may have been set by Jack for anyone who intrudes on his hoard. There is an upstairs “apartment” and we are changing all the locks later today and adding one to the upstairs door just in case someone goes AWOL from the hospital and care center and manages to get home. To give them a barrier and time for police to arrive. I hope the cleanup won’t take more than a month (or two).

I allowed him to stay home after he went AWOL following his last hospital visit when he conned his sister into stopping at the house “for a minute” that turned into 5 months. I was really hoping he would make the changes needed to live a healthy, content and productive life for the time he had left. He tried. I believe that. He just doesn’t have the capacity to understand without the support of health care workers, regular nutrition, medication and motivation. He may have hit his head again or had another brain issue.

I prayed for him. My church has been praying for him, and for all of us since May.

God, your will be done.

Approaching the half century

10/1/14
It was a tiara kind of day. Thanks to the Disney Princess merchandising industry I recently found a nice large princess tiara with blue and white stones. I wore it all day – lol – to my knitting group, around the house, to the grocery store. My favorite reaction was a little boy about 9 who gaped unashamed at me, did a double take and then looked toward the check out where his parent must have been and stared some more. He even shook his head once, maybe he wasn’t seeing things right. That tickled me.

I, of course, wore my 5 caret “diamond” ring that I recently picked up after the fashion show a few weeks ago to compliment the crown.  Many gray ladies grinned and nodded, fewer others scowled at me.  I smiled at them al.

On Thursday of next week I will be 50.
The number doesn’t really bother me.  My son has dubbed me indefinitely 34 and that is the age I feel in my heart.

Looking back over half century to see all the things I have not done yet is moderately disturbing. I have attained a milestone. This is going to be a wonderful decade. I’ve raised my family, established myself, settled in my ways a bit, recognized my potential, learned to say yes and learned to say no.  I am proud of who I am. I have tackled demons, risked it all, saved someone else (several times actually, literally and figuratively). I have a deep appreciation for all that I have and in many ways am thankful for all I have not.

I am cleaning out papers this morning – an ongoing battle.  I happened across a letter from a dear friend from high school. We kept in touch by letter for several years and then the letters stopped. If you know where R. Scott Boots has gone to I would love to reconnect with him.  My last letter had this ink stamp on the front and is a big reason why I have treasured it for so long.

“In Germany they first came for the Communists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was Protestant. Then they came for me – and by that time no one was left to speak up.” -Pastor Martin Niemoller

After the end of the war and the toppling of the Nazi regime’ many believed this could never happen again. Yet, it is. Speak up.

Here’s to the next 1/2 Century and beyond.
All My Love

Banned Books

I’ve got these in my Nook list. Have you read them all?
Read 14 Great Banned & Censored Novels Free Online: For Banned Books Week 2014

Meifein (Rice Noodles)

I am quite happy tonight that I have (finally) successfully made myself a bowl of vegetable mei fun, vegetables with rice noodles.  I learned to love this dish when my friend Cindy had her family make some for me after a shopping trip almost a year ago.  Coach purse anyone?  Not I.  She gave me the basic steps and I always managed to make a bowl of paste.

Thanks to an asian knitter from California I met once a few months ago who learned to cook from her grandmother, she gave me some very important tips for success.  This is the first chance I’ve had to put them to work and the result is yummy!

Called Home – Marlys

I (we) received a hospitality request from the church yesterday for the funeral of one of our members. I have not grieved yet because the shock is still new. Marlys was a short, funny, kind and laughing blond woman I’ve gotten to know in the last few years. From what I can tell she went to the hospital earlier this week for a UTI and within a few days was released to Hospice care. She passed away on Tuesday. I am sad for me and for her dear loving husband and family.

I am rejoicing for her as she is now walking with Christ in the garden. I cannot even finish writing this today as the tears just started thinking of the two of them. She was called home. Joyful, Joyful we adore thee, God of heaven, Lord of love. I think she was in her 60’s, I don’t even know that about her – it never mattered.

Life is so fleeting.

Tell those you love today what they mean to you.

All My Love

Spencer Gifts

**Moderate Adult Content**

I was at the mall Saturday (rare for me) and was an hour early to my appointment so though I would just wander around a bit.  Happened past Spencer Gifts, what the hay, haven’t been in this store in decades – used to be gag stuff, lights, t-shirts.

Disturbing to say the least.  Adults have every authority to choose their lifestyle – but there should be a sign at the front – no admittance under 18 years old.  What pray tell was so offensive?  It wasn’t the piercing decor, the t-shirts or even the general decor though Spencer used to be a moderately tasteful store…I was put off that the Disney princess items were strategically placed at eye level, or just above eye level for a child between the age of 6 and 12 – right next to the wall of sex toys.  Not just the vibrators that we giggled about but more specific items and graphic, lubricants, vibrators and many sordid other items – vibrators would have been racy enough.

Baby clothes with curse words on them; pacifiers and other assorted baby/child paraphernalia.

I wonder if Disney is in on this?  After all the most important thing is sales right?  No matter how you have to sacrifice children’s naiveté’ to get them?

No wonder our youth are having issues.  Yes, it is a chicken and egg issue – I take the point that there is corporate responsibility at hand.  Yes, there is a sign at the door “parental guidance strongly suggested” and the employees appeared to be under 18 themselves.  If Spencer has become a sex toy shop – then they should be subject to the same laws as other shops of that genre’.  We must protect our children.  A 10-year-old, or an 8-year-old or younger (infants?) should not ever be exposed to thoughts like “what is anal sex”?  or for that matter they should not even consider at that age sexual issues at all – they are not emotionally developed to cope with all that it entails.

The less offensive but equally disturbing was the heavy promotions for drugs and alcohol use – again, if you are an adult you have the freedom to make choices.  If you are an adult who thinks its great fun to take your minor child to a shop like this and whoop it up, maybe you shouldn’t have children.

Spencer’s used to be the gag gift shop to visit – THIS isn’t funny.

I attempted to find a customer service email for Spencer and found this on their website:

Spencer’s knows funny. Funny thing, everyone knows Spencer’s back from when they were a kid hanging out at the mall. Maybe you’re not a kid anymore but you still like to laugh, need a gag gift or just wanna have fun – Spencer’s is the place. From fart machines to lava lamps, blacklights, beer pong and bachelorette party stuff, Spencer’s has funny stuff, cool stuff and a whole lot more. Need a rockin’ birthday gift idea – get it at Spencer’s. From cheap gifts to great gifts, outrageous tees, funny tees and custom tees, you can get it all at Spencer’s. Get gifts for dad, bro, and sis, even mom, along with all your BFFs, family, friends, and friends with benefits. Oh yea, don’t forget to treat yourself – you deserve a fun gift!

Daniel 10:4-11

One the twenty fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, The Tigris,

5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of find gold from Uphaz around the waist

6 His body was like Topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronz and his voice like the sound of a multitude

7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me, did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves

8 So I was left, alone*, gazing at this vision deathly pale and I was helpless

9 Then I heard him speaking and I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.

10 A hand touched me and set me trenbling on my hands and knees

11 He said, “Daniel, you are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.”

*I was left, alone

I have felt that many times in my life. Absolute aloneness, absence of human contact, friends and family fleeing, unable to respond.

Many people believe in angels and many less believe in God. How difficult would it be to believe in angels when one “stood before you and spoke”. Wouldn’t be hard at all, except many people would think they had imagined it, fewer would believe the messenger and fewer still would have the insane need to share it with anyone. In our culture this would be viewed as out there, in your imagination or worse. That’s how Satan works, instilling just enough doubt to keep people guessing and not believing.

I’m leading the study The Invisible War, by Chip Ingram. Becoming the leader of this study has been a journey of it’s own. I’ve listened to all of the videos, read the accompanying book and to go deeper into understanding I have been writing each referenced verse into a journal I found at Read Books just a few weeks before the study. I had some books to sell ($3 worth) and the journal was out of place but exactly where I was browsing ($3.00). I bought it for the cover – it was pretty and chastised myself as to why I needed “another” journal, then bought it anyway. The cover is a scripture reference: Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. –Proverbs 4:23 NIV which coincides with the study we were starting at church. Coincidence? Depends on your beliefs or lack of belief.

Having lived under the protection of God during many years of grief, I don’t need an angel to stand before me to believe.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Follow up:  I have my car back, thanks to my mechanic and a gentle nudge by one of my friends.  Feeling blessed today and yes, I am going to worship.  I woke up at 5am worshiping and praying until around 6:30.  God is good.  All My Love

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