Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lola Update 10-28-12

Here's a quick update on Lola. She's recovered quite a lot from her spell of a week ago; although, she continues to be quite weak both in mind and body. Her balance was affected perhaps, but I can't tell what's a balance problem from what's just being 91, frail, and weak.

She's quite content to simply lay in her chair in the mornings without asking for breakfast or to sit up to watch TV. I have to remind her of these things and do them for her.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Romney and Mormonism

The other day Jill and I were talking about the upcoming presidential election and the candidates. Jill asked me if Romney's being Mormon affects my opinion of him. I replied, "Yes, it does." So she asked how. After I told her how, I was stunned to learn that she didn't know the basic roots of the Mormon church. Since my own cousin, at age 60, didn't know the basics, I thought I'd write a short post on it.

This is my understanding. A Google search or a quick trip to Wikipedia will give you much more detail. I went to the library 30 years ago and checked out books to learn about it. Here my links are to Wikipedia.

The Mormon church was started in western New York in the 1820s by a treasure-digger named Joseph Smith. In 1823, Joseph Smith claimed to have been directed by the angel Moroni to golden plates buried near his home. These golden plates contained words of God written by prophets, mostly one named Mormon, about indigenous Americans. Smith said he translated these golden plates (using seer-stone spectacles) and then gave them back to the angel. Smith had 11 relatives and friends sign a paper saying they'd seen these plates. During power struggles, Smith later broke with or excommunicated most of the witnesses. Smith published his translation as the Book of Mormon

Mormons believe the Bible is the word of God written by prophets. They also believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God written by prophets (or a prophet), and is a companion book to the Bible.

Joseph Smith and his cadre claimed the way to heaven for women was through their husbands, thus setting the precedence for multiple wives for Mormon men. Mormons believe that present-day men can receive the word of God and change church doctrine.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lola Channels Joe

Whoo Boy! Today was a wild ride. Lola has been channeling Joe for the last 24 hours. It's not been pretty. Actually, if it wasn't sad, it would have been downright hilarious.

The short of it is that mother barely slept a wink last night. She was up early and falling. She wouldn't stay in her chair. She talked wild all day long. She hallucinated. She also had 4 BMs in the Depends. She wore me out.

Without going into a exquisite detail of the day, here's the gist. Lola wouldn't go to sleep last night. She kept talking, and talking. The last time I remember looking at the clock, it was 5 a.m. She woke me up at 8:30 a.m. wide awake and chipper. And promptly toppled right over, walker and all.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lola Update 10-19-12

Lola October 19, 2012
Yay! Here's a quick update to note that Lola is doing much better today. She managed to get to the bathroom and back using her walker. She's sitting up a bit straighter in her chair. She couldn't name the banana pudding I brought her for a snack this evening, but she's had no real problem eating it.

Lola Update 10/18/12

Lola - October 7, 2012
Lola - October 12, 2012
I'm sorry to say that I think Lola had a minor stroke on Sunday night or Monday. She is recovering somewhat, but she isn't in terrific shape. She is in her chair in the living room, and that's where she's been since I got here there on Monday.

She has been very diminished this whole week. She has no paralysis, but is extremely weak. She could barely make it to the bathroom and the chair on Tuesday. At the time I couldn't tell whether it was the usual fugue or anything more. However, she slept most of Monday, which isn't unusual, but when I finally got her up and to the chair on Tuesday, she went right back to sleep.

Lola - October 18, 2012 
Getting her to wake up long enough to eat Monday was a lost cause. I finally got her awake on Tuesday to eat, but she had lost the ability to use utensils and went at her food with her hands mostly. This was bad because I had cooked split pea soup, which we both like (pppffft to all you who hate pea soup), and at that point I didn't realize how compromised she was.

I started to realize how bad off she was and stood back and watched while she tried to eat. She was missing the soup bowl with the spoon and not even realizing it. She turned the plate with her meat and bread on it over on her lap and was totally unaware of it. I got that cleaned up and thought she might be able to handle pudding. I gave it to her, went to clean the kitchen up, and came back. She'd had her fingers in the pudding, smeared it all over her and wasn't aware of it.

She began to recover somewhat on Wednesday, and could feed herself again. However, getting her up and to the bathroom was a no-go. Oy. She slept an awful lot, and has had trouble staying sitting up in her chair. I've had to keep her reclined because I fear she's going to slip right out of it. Julia came by to see how she was doing, and this was the first time that mother couldn't name Julia. She recognized her, but couldn't come up with Julia's name.

Lola didn't want to wake up today, but I finally goaded her into it, and she spent from about 3 to 10 watching TV. I got her bathed, cleaned, and in fresh jammies, and got a good meal down her. She wanted to go to sleep about 10:00 p.m. which is quite unlike her. She had the strength to use the walker to stand while I changed her clothes and bathed her, thank heavens. However, making her way to her bed is beyond her.

I'm divided about whether or not to get her to her bed, but leaning more to simply keeping her in the chair. In her bed I could manage bathing and changing diapers with sheets and rolling techniques. However, I think she's reached the stage that once she hits that bed, she will never get up from up.

The chair is leather, and it's one for the elderly that rises to assist in standing up and also reclines with feet raised. The leather is easy to clean, and the standing assist is fantastic for as long as it's an option. In her chair, she can be raised to sitting - which allows her to engage and watch TV and pushes her to continue.  Also, I can get to her from all sides in the chair.

If she goes to a bed, I think it would have to be a hospital bed. So I'd have to rent a bed. But she'd be out of daily life. I'd have to take a TV in there, but being in bed encourages disengaging from life I feel.

The main members of the family and I have discussed what to do, and we are all agreed that with her expressed wishes, we are to let things happen as they will. There is no need to take her to a hospital to have an MRI which would confirm or not a cerebral event. There is nothing to be done if there was - she's 91, frail, and failing. It's not like rehabilitation is a viable option, so it really doesn't matter whether or not we know what has happened.

If she was mentally competent - thinking and happily engaged with daily events - it would be a different story. However, she hasn't been able to remember since last November that her husband is dead. I haven't been able to talk her into even stepping foot on the front porch, much less sitting outside, in over two years. She has not been aware of her bodily functions, and hasn't even expressed a desire to be changed from urine-soaked adult incontinence underwear in over 6 months.

There's not much else to say.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Murder, Paper Mills and Commercials

All in all I really love west Kentucky. There are things I don't like now - the changing climate and the hotter temperatures, being used to easier access to more cosmopolitan areas that isn't here, etc., but all in all, I love it here. I love the topography - the gentle hills, the fields, etc.

However, there is one thing that absolutely turns my stomach. It's the paper mill 15 miles north of here. When there is cloud cover, the smell from that place is sickening. When I began this post, it was raining cats and dogs outside, and I would have loved to open a window because this room was warm. When I do, it smells like a sulfur pit or an outhouse. Choose one. It doesn't matter. It stinks.

Pesky commercials. It's probably because I get most of my news online that the commercials I see are hilarious, or sad, and the repetition really brings it to light. When you watch news shows online, there's normally 30 seconds of commercial every 5-10 minutes. The problem is that it's frequently the same commercial for a whole show. Thus my cynical take on Big Oil's commercials.

The last two days have presented at least a real advertisement for services - concierge banking from Chase. Hoo boy. Count me in. However, I don't think Chase is going to be terribly impressed with the size of either our checking or savings account and assigning us a "concierge" to manage it.

Not too hard to figure out what social/economic class that ad is targeting.

More disturbing is the fact that a few nights ago, there was an attempted murder and a suicide 3 houses down from ours, and I was totally oblivious to it. That's really, really disturbing to me. It happened around midnight, and of course, I was up. In fact, I was sitting not more than 2 feet from a window. I didn't hear a thing. Albeit, I almost always have earplugs in and am either listening to a book or some kind of entertainment.

The estranged husband of a woman who was seeking a divorce broke down both her front and back doors, chased her outside, shot her 3 times - breaking both of her legs - sat down on her body and shot himself. I didn't hear a thing - none of the arguing, the screaming, and none of the four shots.

Of the countless times I've wandered outside after midnight because of cat fights, owls screeching, coyotes baying or even, once, seemingly a goose in trouble, I missed a woman screaming for her life and her husband shooting her and himself.

I couldn't have done anything other than join the other neighbors who dialed 911, because things happened so fast and I'm a chicken when it comes to estranged husbands waving pistols while attacking their wives.

It still disturbs me terribly. I heard no arguing, no screaming, no gunshots, no police arriving, no ambulance arriving and saw no flashing lights or unusual traffic. Nothing. Nada. I don't think I've ever lived in a house which is as insulating from neighbors or community as this house is. You think that's what you want until something like this happens, and then wonder what you could have done to help.  You can't help but wonder what would happen if it were a stranger breaking in on you.

Thankfully, Monica is alive, and will be arriving back from Nashville and surgery on her legs in a few days.

Friday, October 12, 2012

More State versus Less Federal Government

I've got a bone to pick. What a silly way to say you've got a problem with something.

I've got a problem with the people advocating less Federal Government and more State Government.  It makes me want to scream,
     "Don't you want to live in one country?????"

Seriously, do the people clammering for more State Government and less Federal Government, want to live in a series of Luxemborgs and small nation states?

Do you seriously want to base the decision on where you live on the options provided to you by states rather than by the nation in which you live? Think about it. Think in depth about it. Think of the things that impact you.

Since I live in extreme western Kentucky, an area surrounded by many states, the issue of State Government is especially pertinent to the people of the region.

People that want to stay within, say a 100-mile radius of their family have the option of living in Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri or Illinois. Even if the radius is much smaller, 50 miles, Tennessee and Illinois are options.

On the surface, you probably think, eh, wherever I get a job is where I'll live. Likely it'll boil down to that, but should it? With more State Government and less Federal Government, there are a lot of things to consider. "What," you may ask, "would cause me to target a specific state rather than another?"

How about schools? Roads? Utilities? Taxes? Judicial systems? Concealed Carry laws?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dream Park and Imager Novels, and Big Oil

I just finished relistening to all of the Dream Park novels by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes. It's funny that I really liked the last one, The Moon Maze Game, and Max found it one he could barely get through. As a matter of fact, I think the last one is the one I liked best. Max mentioned he was disappointed that it picked up with the son of the main characters from the 1st three books, and didn't include those characters much. I found it refreshing.

The iPod has just been loaded up with Imager series by L.E. Modesitt, Jr., and I'm going to work my way through them. He sermonizes a bit much in them for my taste, but I love the way he develops his characters and story lines. Modesitt has worked his way up to being almost my favorite author. It's such a pity he won't get his Chaos books on audible. I'd snap them up in a heartbeat. I could sit a loom, a spinning wheel, or do chores for hours while listening to them.

Recently I commented on an oil commercial that was dominating air time for marketing during news show I watch online. Here are the other two I couldn't remember at the time of the comment. ConocoPhillips is pushing their ad for "diversity" in energy solutions and supposedly caring about economics and the environment. Exxon Mobil is pushing an ad lamenting the U.S.'s bad showing of placing 18th in global math and science competitions, and pushing backing better education in those fields.

Why are these oil companies doing this? If you don't believe it's propaganda to make you think nicely about the richest companies on the face of the whole wide world, I own a bridge in Brooklyn I will sell you.

They're not selling an ad to make you buy their product - go shop at my gas station and buy my gas; they're selling an image of them as good companies.

Why do YOU think oil companies spend millions of dollars on air time to make themselves look good?

I'm going to pop this up on the blog quickly. Max is coming in today, likely around 7ish, and I'm looking forward to this second weekend in a row with my friend and husband in the house with me.

Edited day of post to add:
Phooey! Just called Max to have him stop for burgers before he gets here, and he nearly laughed himself sick trying to tell me today is Thursday, not Friday.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cut Rounds, errr, Biscuits, Lola and Max

Another episode of Edwardian Farm has gotten me tickled over the differences in Brit-speak and American-speak. In episode 9, Ruth has gone to quite a lot of trouble learning how to put together a proper Devon cream tea. She's learned how to traditionally make clotted cream (easy), and it has me drooling.

She's also learned how to make the area's Cut Rounds, upon which the clotted cream was served with jam or marmalade. Well, Cut Rounds from Devon are simply American biscuits, buttermilk biscuits to be more precise. Since I've not tasted a cut round, I can't be sure, but from watching them being mixed the only difference I saw was how the rounds are cut.  In England what they call biscuits, we call cookies.

We seem to be having our usual autumn which has become the new normal - from hot summer to cool weather in one week. Used to be we had very hot Augusts, with Septembers becoming cooler, and one could enjoy September and the first part of October. I even remember going Trick or Treating rarely having to wear a coat. In the last 20  years, it's become more normal to go from having to have the A/C on to needing to have the heater on in one week.

Max was in this weekend. We didn't get a lot done. The kitchen got cleaned up, and some groceries were bought. He brought barbecue left from his company's "Employee Appreciation Lunch," and I appreciated it greatly. In the evenings we watched "Tales from the Green Valley."

The yard needs mowing, but the lawn mower is refusing to move. It runs; it just won't go anywhere. Sigh. There's always something, it seems, that needs fixing.

On Friday we had a sump pump attached to the heater and pipes run to pump the condensate over to a proper drain. Joe, bless him, decided to simply knock a hole in the basement floor and let it drip out there. The problem with that is that every time the ground was saturated with water, so was the basement. Now we've just got to plug that hole up, and we might have a dry basement.

Physically, Lola has been doing better lately. She's gotten off her jag of wanting to sleep all day. That makes her steadier on her feet and less shaky getting around. Mentally, she's a mess. I've had to take her trash can away again because she started dumping half-full glasses of juice and water in it. Also, there was a whole stack of prized photographs in it, which I managed to save from a dousing. Now I just have to pick up all the food and candy wrappers she throws on the floor.

She's begun to want to eat her food with her fingers a lot. She has to poke her forefinger in everything on her plate. Then sometimes she picks up her fork and sometimes she doesn't. She's also developed a strange demeanor when I'm in the room with her. She stares in my direction at stomach level and won't speak. She won't look up to see who's in the room with her, and she won't look directly at the person. Other than that, she's carrying on getting up and watching TV all day.

Tales From the Green Valley

Huzzah! "Tales from the Green Valley" is back up and available from

This is a documentary about living a year on a small farm in Wales set in 1620. It has historians, Ruth Goodman and Stuart Peachey, along with archaeologists Peter Ginn, Alex Langlands and Chloe Spencer. They dress in period clothing and use the available housing and tools of the period.

Max was here this weekend, the first weekend in October, and he spent Friday night and Saturday night watching all of them.

I've included an embed of Episode 1 here to bookmark it for myself. If you click on Dailymotion in the lower left-hand corner of the video, you'll be taken to the website where you can pick up on the following episodes.

E1 Tales from the Green Valley by zodiacza