Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Still here but my life changed for awhile. Quite a while.
You see, my friend from another state and her 10 year old daughter needed a place to stay for a bit while she looked for work and a place to live. That meant I had to use every spare minute I had getting my home ready for guests. Then once here, my time was spent visiting and/or cooking for guests.
After about a year of living with us, she did find a job and her own place but it has taken me almost another year to get caught up back to where I actually have some time to blog. So here I am.
One other thing happened since I last posted - I switched to a Mac computer! Yes, I crossed over to the dark side. And right away I noticed my blog and website don't look right anymore so I guess I have to figure that out in the near future.
I would say I sorry but I'm....
Friday, January 1, 2010
About a month before Thanksgiving, my mom’s other cat died. It was almost 20 years old but acted 40. Just like the first cat that died some years ago, my dad insisted that this one was to be buried at the cemetery with my mom too. Only this time it was up to me to bury it because my dad is now confined to a wheelchair and my brother refused to help because he was afraid he wouldn’t get away with it twice. I strongly suggested cremation because scattering ashes is so much easier but he refused.
In case you didn’t know, burying an animal in a cemetery meant for humans is illegal, at least in Michigan so it has to be carefully planned.
Here is a sure fire way to perform the task.
First of all, pick a date shortly before Christmas. If the time of death does not coincide with this timing, use a spare freezer that isn’t being used for food to keep the cat in as my dad did. Be sure to wrap the cat in a nice towel first though. To be honest, he put the cat in the freezer because I was out of town when it died. The rest of the plan came later.
Buy a small Christmas tree and decorate it appropriately for a cemetery. Nail a wooden cross on the bottom of the tree trunk to keep it from tipping over
Arrive at the cemetery at dusk so that it is just light enough to allow noisy neighbor to see that you are delivering a Christmas tree but dark enough so that they don’t notice the other small detail that you will slip in, namely the burial of the cat.
Set the tree (and the cat) down and “notice” that the tree will easily tip over, even with the wooden cross nailed to the bottom, in case the neighbors are looking at you. Talk about it with your spouse for a time. When the lighting is just right, dig a hole a little larger than necessary to “bury the tree” which will help it stay upright.
It should be pretty dark now, and no one will notice as you slip the cat into the bottom of the hole. Kick some of the dirt over the cat and then set the tree into the hole. Finish filling in the hole, firmly securing the tree and hiding the cat forever.
By the way, the picture shown of the Christmas tree is not where the cat is buried. I had to use a decoy in case someone familiar with the cemetery reads this.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Build a stairway and memories a lane, I’d walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.
I don’t remember the first time I seen these words at a cemetery but I do remember thinking that it was nice. But that was before I had seen it waaayyy too many (as in hundreds) of times. It makes me grateful for the few original verses that I happen to find.
They come in all sizes and shapes, from dollar store plastic stones to those made by a loved ones own hands. And, even though I have had enough of them, I always take a picture.
Monday, October 26, 2009
This last pamphlet was a collection of stories by a number of people each telling their own personal story of how God heard and answered their prayers.
I scanned through the pamphlet and came across the story of a woman who was concerned that her husband was not saved. I don’t have permission to write exactly what she said but it concerned her prayer group lifting him up and saying something along the lines of if he was saved, give her peace and if not, knock him down. Well, the next day he had a heart attack! He didn’t die that day but did a couple of months later due to heart problems.
I mentioned the story to my husband who said “it was probably a coincidence.” He missed the point I was trying to make which was: Here is a story of a deeply religious woman who truly believes in the power of prayer. She and her fellow church members believe that God answers prayers. So why in the world would they even mention “knocking him down?” Why dare God to “knock” anyone down? Why not a simple “please let him be saved?”
I don’t know about her, but I think I would feel pretty darn guilty that I may have played a part in his dying.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
My sister went in for what should have been “routine” surgery and it was anything but routine.
A couple of days stay in the hospital has turned into:
a week at the hospital (not the one in town, but the one 60 miles away of course)
then to a nursing home for some rehab (it lasted less than 6 hours)
back to the hospital for a week (staff infection)
the the nursing home for 5 days
back to the hospital ICU for a week (bleeding ulcer from the pain meds)
then the nursing home for 6 days
back to the hospital ICU for a week (TWO bleeding ulcers)
She’s now back in the nursing home, swelled up like a fricking blowfish and itching from some kind of rash. And no one knows why of course.
I knew before, but her experiences have reinforced my conviction that hospitals are not for the sick. If you need a biopsy, have a non-complicated baby delivery, or most outpatient procedures and you will probably do just fine. It’s when you have to get some actual care that they often fail. There is no communication between anyone, many of the nurses were down right mean, and no one seems to care about anything other than gossiping. It’s all about treating the symptoms and getting you out of there. And when I say symptoms, I mean the ones that caused the hospitalization, not the ones that crop up DURING the hospitalization, like for instance, the massive swelling over her entire body. I heard “Oh, is she more swollen than usual”? And “we’re giving her lasix, that should work, just give it time”. And “maybe she’s allergic to something, it will probably go away”. Should? Maybe? Probably? Well it sounds like MAYBE I could do your job without any specialized schooling.
She has just passed a week out of the hospital and we both hope she doesn’t ever have to return. I sure will feel better about it once the swelling is gone though.
So, that’s what I have been doing the last 7 weeks. The only positive point was that I did a lot of stair climbing during my hospital visits!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
My first memory of death happened when I was a toddler and it was not a person; it was a chicken. My parents decided to raise chickens and the day came when it was time to butcher one of them. I'm pretty sure that it happened before I even knew what death meant. All I knew was that the whole family was there to watch as my dad held an ax high over a chickens head, which was flung over a stump (of course), and he couldn't go through with it. My grandmother had to grab the ax from his hand, swearing the whole time, and whack its head off. The next thing I knew, a headless chicken came running across the yard right to me. No matter where I ran or how much I screamed, and boy, did I scream, it would not untangle from my legs. I remember the blood all over me and the terror I felt. I remember some people laughing and others trying to help. I also remember running by the head laying by that stump and seeing it blink. That death was very hard for me to deal with and I am sure that it played a part in me becoming a vegetarian later in life.
Lots of deaths have happened since then and each one has burnt a permanent memory into my brain. Watching my pet cat flipping around after get getting hit by a car. Hearing that an old boyfriend was murdered and left in a drainage ditch. The last look my mother gave me before she fell asleep and never woke up again. The sound of the fading heart monitor and my cousins words of of love to his mother as we each held a hand at her bedside watching her die. He trying to assure her it was ok to let go, even though we didn't believe it.
This month I experienced another death. Not a person thankfully, but my grand old octopus of a mulberry tree. The spring freeze predictor I have written about here in previous posts. A cancer had invaded it a few years ago and slowly, trunk by trunk, it began to die. I woke a few weeks ago to find that its last three branches had dropped withing inches of the ground. I'm sure that my neighbor is singing to the heavens because the birds will no longer be able to eat the delicious berries and leave those horrible and permanent purple stains on her car or cement driveway.
I am not going to tell her that I plan to plant another to take its place as soon as I can. How else will I know when it is safe to plant my flowers each spring?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
One of the biggest surprises was the cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina that we stopped at, just by chance. As I was walking around this huge cemetery, I came across the graves of Thomas Wolfe and O Henry. I found it interesting that both headstones were relatively small and neither was adorned except for some small stones and other items that visitors left. Does anyone know why people leave stones on graves?
Here is Thomas Wolfes
Just a short distance away is O Henry! It’s a good thing they had a sign pointing it out because I would not have recognized it by his real name. Again, quite an unimpressive stone.
What a coincidence to find the graves of two famous people without even trying!
I found that cemeteries down south have some similarities to those up here in Michigan. For instance, they like plastic flowers.
And they like to over decorate.
The differences? Well, they tend to mound the graves.
They hyphenate when needed
They fence them in to protect them from ????
They use stones that have fallen to create sculptures and build bridges
It was a fun time. I can't wait to get on the road again!