Sunday, August 22, 2010

...Memorial Day?

Well, here it is almost Labor Day and I never got around to posting the photos I took while I was in Oregon over Memorial Day, helping celebrate my mom's 80th birthday...the trouble when you only post once every 3 months, posts turn into chapters, and not everyone has time to read a book!

My mom in her garden

Some of my procrastinating may be due to the fact that she and my sister got into a an argument over a dessert, complete with expletives on the part of both parties 'better halves' and me it kind of felt like what it would be like if one was too close to a hand grenade going off (the term 'shell shock' comes to mind), or maybe it was a 'stink bomb'!

This happened on Day 3 of my 5 day visit, so it was difficult for me to get past that, still is... as they aren't speaking even now and they live in the same town. I have tried to talk to both of them and my mom just says 'if that's how she wants it' and my sister says 'I can't go back into that house and pretend that didn't happen'.

My sister thinks her husbands outbursts were 'great' and my mom thinks the more 'mature' couple did nothing inappropriate either. My therapist says neither one will get past this without therapy and change. And I don't see that happening...sigh. I came across a quote on a thought-filled blog I follow and wish everyone involved in the arguement had thought of them before they spoke..."Before you speak, ask yourself: is it kind, is it true, is it necessary, does it improve upon the silence?" - Shirdi Sai Baba.

But in spite of that, I enjoyed 99% of my time with family. Had a day at Aveda Day Spa with my mom (only the 3rd time I have ever had a facial and I would have to say that given the choice of a massage or a facial...hands down the face wins! My mom went off to her room with the pierced, purple haired girl and me with the one I think my mom would have preferred (she isn't 'comfortable' with such things) and I thought about asking to switch so my mom would enjoy herself more, but wasn't sure if that would be in bad taste...

We both enjoyed ourselves (in fact it felt like my birthday instead of hers). We went to lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant and amazingly, the same bartender was there that worked there when Mike and I used to dine and dance there. He didn't recognize me til I spoke, but then it was all hugs and picture taking and sadness too, as he didn't know Mike had died in 2007. But seeing Jorge sure helped make that day a real pleasure.

(Jorge and me--he said he has grey hair, too)

My mom lives in a lovely home, right on the Rogue River and the smell of the pines, the sound of the riffles and the call of the osprey nesting in a snag on their property felt like 'vacation paradise' She has kind of a wild garden with lots of perennials in the yard, which made for some nice photos, too.

Made for an opportunity to get bitten by a deer tick, too, so when I got back home, I went to the doctors and got on Doxycycline right away. Although the Lyme test did come back negative, I just wasn't sure if the tick had been embedded 36 hours or not (it wasn't there Thursday morning but was on Friday). I have enough aches and pains without wondering if I have Lyme's disease, too.

One night, before all the relatives arrived, we had a great meal at TapRock, right on the river and I had the best potato pancakes ever~~with bacon from some special place in Montana! Here's some photos of the restaurant sidewalk and front door! And a link to their mouthwatering menu.


Sunday was the day of the big party--a catered Greek meal that was superb! Lots and lots of food, at least 30 family members gathered (minus my sister's husband, but my sister was there, but there was a heavy silence towards her from the other parties to the aforementioned argument). I am sure I wasn't the only one more than a little uncomfortable with that, but we all pushed it aside in honor of the reason for the party--mom's birthday. It had rained for most of my time there, but on the day of the party, it was sunny and cool, and really nice being outside as there was a breeze that must have blown the mosquitos away! Nice!

Family gatherings can sometimes be stressful...more than one movie has been made about what can go wrong when families 'speak their mind' but usually they are comedic, probably because we can walk away and say 'Wow, glad I wasn't there for that!' or 'You can pick your friends, but not your family'...

In spite of everything though, it was good to see some cousins and nieces and nephews and brothers and aunts I hadn't seen in years, and to say our goodbyes with 'Let's not let so much time pass before we see one another again'...but for me, maybe on a more one-on-one vacation next time...

And, those of you who follow my 'Cat's Blog' know I arrived home to one of my kitties seriously ill with a urinary blockage, something that can come on suddenly. So instead of arriving home at 1 a.m. and hoping for a few hours sleep before work the next day, I spent what was left of the night/morning in the emergency hospital with him...but he pulled through with great vet care and so far, no sign of reoccurrence. I have changed his diet and he is on some 'nutriceuticals' to help reduce inflammation, as it was most likely caused by FIC, the feline form of Interstitial Cystitis.

The kittens born in January all went off to their new homes months ago, and I have 2 little girl kittens born 5 weeks ago (they are promised to a family who are taking both of them...that'll be fun!) and am on baby (yes, just one expected) watch right now as my other 'momcat' is expecting today. I have 3 people waiting for that one kitten, so tough decisions ahead.

And I have been busy working on getting that albatross of a basement whipped back into shape and had a friend over a few weeks ago to jump start me (moral support!) and while she worked on cleaning up my computer and TiVo, I cleaned up piles. My therapist said to 'Handle something once' don't move it from pile to pile. She also said my issues with cleaning up my basement were coloring my whole life, kind of preventing me from 'moving on'.

It's true--I told myself I can't have people over (because my basement's in a mess), and I can't go into DC and go to a museum (because I should be working on my basement) and what could be a nice place to spend some time was like a dungeon for me in a way.

So, I am feeling better about (myself) now and have been doing some gardening. My grandparents would be happy to know that some of the money they left me is going to pretty blue birdbaths, perennials that I hope come back every year, and a prettier front and backyard for me to look out on...


  1. We too have a sister who is extremely rude to close family and nobody is on speaking terms with her either. Quite sad really because she recently celebrated her 40th with no family around. Sometimes people dont really like their family at all and just put up with them. It happens in every family unfortunately.

  2. Well despite the argument it sounds like a lovely time and I imagine your Mom feels tended to around her special day.

    I myself am HSP a highly sensitive person, there is actually a book about this. I am affected very deeply by people's words, by arguments etc.

    I always thought my mom didnt like me as every time I visited we seemed to argue and she told me all the things she didnt like about me and that i should be doing differently.

    For awhile i chose to visit on non-holiday times and of course whenever mom or dad became ill. I came then.

    luckily we had that last year of her life together with me living here and there was no sign of that dislike! Who knows what happened to it. Mom expressed her appreciation for what I was doing for her any number of times and was not critical or bossy. It was a lovely experience and changed my view of mom and me completely.

    it is sad though when family members have rifts like that. My dad and his brother had a rift that never healed. dad was stubborn and unyielding else i think they could have worked it out.

    now my brother has said very mean things about me. he sent me an email when i was on vacation accusing me and being quite bitter towards me and saying i needed to leave and move out of his second home here that was mom's home.

    i was afraid to return frankly. he can get so angry that he is unreasonable. then when i did return to face my brother's wrath as best i could, i discovered Miss Emily was dying.

    I have not written about this on my blog, though I have wanted to, because my brother has a # of friends who read my blog.

    At first I felt I needed to move immediately, but after several talks w/brother i feel i dont need to rush quite as quickly. i dont do well with rushing. but i dont like being here anymore with him over there although i feel very sad for him and sorry he has such bitterness within.

    I am glad your kitty is better. And the babes are so sweet.

    And wonderful you are getting that basement cleaned out. I do the same thing with buying a house. I cant have fun till i get myself a place to live. I have to keep everything packed so it will be uncomfortable for me here and make me leave. everything for the last year and a half is countered by, but i need to get myself someplace to live.

    Bravo for you for asking a friend to help out and for making a move on this. Take care, Suki

  3. oh shoot. i just left a long comment and it said URI too long to process. I was going to cut it down but it disappeared. just know my thoughts are with you. good job on the basement and glad kitty is recovered. namaste, suki

  4. You have some wonderful pictures here. I think you were wise not to mess around, about that tick bite, it's not good to take any chances.

  5. ps I would like to use that Sai baba quote on my blog sidebar. that's great.

  6. Loved the blog because it is so human and so real. It contained everything that makes us who we are and shows us all who read it how alike we are, each of us.

    Sending's me..Ramblingon and the Admiral's mom.

  7. I would love to do that which you suggested very soon...although I know it would be good to have company while Kiki is waiting for her little one to arrive, the Admiral DID blow her meow horn ALL night long. That is unusual for her. But it has me short on sleep so we are going to try again! I think I have your email after having sent that photo to you..I want to mention something about Lyme.

  8. Well this was a long read but interesting. Loved seeing the photos. Your Mom looks great at 80. sorry the trip was ruined by fighting. Sad that tomorrow something could happen to either of them and that would bring guilt to the party left behind. Also glad you have gotten to your basement to clean. I know that feeling.. if I dont do something I cant go do something else. I think I handle things to much. I should learn to handle just once because it becomes monumental and I lose things I need. A good reminder to me. So glad you Kitty is doing much better. I have been wondering. I havent been feeling to well lately so I dont get to everyone daily. I hope this will be over soon. And Poor Suki.. I feel for her too.

  9. Well... Not sure what to say here. At least you didn't get lyme disease?

  10. Greetings from Rosemary ~<3
    Is your sister older or younger? I can't remember if I asked - ever.
    I got in an argument with my oldest sister about dessert - back in uh, oh it must have been 1994. she wanted me to buy/bring an ice cream cake to the Easter gathering at my parents house. I did not want to do that. also, Dolley is/was my oldest sister and she could be bossy. I thought she was pretty much TELLING me to bring an ice cream cake. I think ice cream cakes are kind of messy and gross. There was no swearing going on though but I did hang up on her because she was getting annoying.

    Sisters. Your mom and your sister need to work this out on their own. They are both probably perturbed that you witnessed this outburst, encounter, argument and they are well aware that you are quite disgusted by it, but they don't want to deal with it. They certainly do not want YOU to force them to make up and be happy.
    Families are funny. I have always been fairly truthful with mine, and no I do not like to say hurtful things. For me, and others, probably you as well, it hurts your heart to have such anger toward people! I have never been good at dealing with angry people. I usually just shut down. Oh I can get angry but I always keep it in.
    I am very glad that you made precious good use of your time with your family. You tried to be a loving daughter and sister. I think you maintained your composure, your own self control.

    These photos are just beautiful. Your mom is really lovely now, goodness what a sweet photo of her in her garden. Love the pics of her place too.
    I am glad you are back home. It is good to go home and to be with family but many times in our lives we realize it is nice to LEAVE soon after. We see things that are not good. Your sister and your mom ... swearing at eachother oh my and sister's husband too. Oh wow....

    See, it is nice to leave that. they can work that out and it is okay to say "that is not my problem". when you stay out of it, one day they will need you for something, some sort of moral support and you can give without feeling like you got too deeply in their ugly situation lol

    Okay others have left long comments here too so this is my "long comment"

    I enjoyed this blog entry :-)

  11. Well it looks like 90% of the visit was good times! ;-)
    Stay clear of hand gernades!
    And deer ticks! Oy.
    Enjoy the kitties!

  12. Good to see your smiling face.. your kitties are adorable... and I know what you mean about family gatherings.. they can be good and bad, and stressful.. funny thing that, but it's true...

  13. I haven't been by to see you in a while. I'm glad there was lots to hear about!

    Family gatherings, hmmmm. I have a pile of stories myself. And since moving back to the east coast I've seen very few of them. It's mostly schedules and long drives that keep me from going. And this *&%#@$ humidity!!!! I can't handle another year of this. I don't remember it ever being this bad.

    You have a lovely smile ;)
    Jorge's pants are too tight!! hahaha!!

    I'm glad your kitty is doing better. Thank goodness you have all that tech experience and know what to do and if/when to stop trying. You're a good kitty mom!

    I'm glad your visit was a positive one, mostly. I'm with you for one on one company!


  14. Hello sweet!
    This song is really beautiful and the singer's voice is captivating.
    I do not know because she is from Portugal, and we live in Brazil.
    We speak Portuguese as well, but slightly different from Portuguese brothers
    I've enjoyed your visit and I love you puppies!
    Ps.: I have facebook -> #! / MariliaBavaresco

  15. This is a great post - despite the family issues you sound like you had a good satisfying visit. I'm so glad

  16. It is a good read. I hate the family thing happened but maybe it can improve things in the long run. I hope so. You and your basement reminds me of the house I am getting ready for sale. We lost most of our summer over it as it has to come first and I feel guilty taking off if it isn't done.

  17. Hmmmmmmm....I'd swear you were vacationing with my family if I didn't know better ;)
    You obviously know how to navigate the scene.
    I'm glad the kitty is fine and that you are 'getting over' your basement!


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