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...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Fur Trade

This takes some courage to watch, but may it help even just one of the helpless...