Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ha Ha

A blonde decides to learn and try horse back riding assisted without any experience or lessons. She mounts the horse with great effort, and the tall, shiny horse springs into motion. It gallops along at a steady and rhythmic pace, but the blonde begins to slip from the saddle. Out of sheer terror, she grabs for the horse's mane but cannot seem to get a firm grip. She tries to throw her arms around the horse's neck, but slides down the side of the horse anyway. The horse gallops along, seemingly oblivious to its slipping rider. Finally, giving up her frail grip, she leaps away from the horse to try and throw herself to safety. Unfortunately, her foot has become entangled in the stirrup. She is now at the mercy of the horse's pounding hooves as her head is struck against the ground again and again. As her head is battered against the ground, she is moments away from unconsciousness or even death when Todd, the Wal-Mart Manager, runs out to turn the horse off.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween

So, how are you going to spend Halloween? Me? I'm going to hide in the back of the house and watch movies - I think. Bebo is coming over and we might watch Dancing With the Stars (I usually tape it and watch it later). I have an entire stack of movies lined up for tonight and tomorrow night - I can't handle the trick-or-treaters this year. Handing out the candy was always mom's joy and I'm just not up to it this year.

What's on the list?

House on Haunted Hill (what's Halloween without Vincent Price?)
The Uninvited (if you've never seen this movie with Ray Milland, you should. It's on most lists of great ghost movies. The Uninvited was the first Hollywood film to take the subject of ghosts seriously)
An episode of Sightings that always gives me goosebumps. It's about recorded voices from beyond and those voices are very eerie.
Van Helsing (Halloween without Dracula?)
13 Ghosts (the original - wish I had the 3-D glasses)
The Mummy and The Mummy Returns (What's Halloween without ... you get the idea)
The Legend of Hell House (Roddy McDowell - another great movie)
The Haunting (the original with Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. The use of black and white imagery is far superior to any blood and guts remake)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Moving Out

Not really, but I am moving from my bedroom into the master bedroom (hence Glenice painting). Friday was the day I moved The Shalvis Shrine. Permits were issued, and the police cordoned off the area. First the security system was turned off, the drawbridge was lowered over the piranha stocked moat, and the hounds of hell were leashed. Each book was carefully removed from the shelf, meticulously dusted off, laid carefully on the velvet pillow and escorted to the next room by a couple of buff Brinks Security guards. The slightly charred remains of the bear and goose effigies were moved and placed in their new cases. Next the voodoo dolls representing everyone who has ever criticized a Shalvis book, followed closely by the bobblehead dolls and the box of sacrificial Thin Mints. The portrait was easy, but the candles had burned down so that their wax adhered to the marble altar. Finally the Persian kneeling rug was laid out in front of the new shrine and the security systems re-engaged. What? Doesn’t everyone have a Shalvis Shrine?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

They're Baaaaack

Just when you thought it was safe to return to blogland. (Cue Theme from Spam. What? You don’t know the Theme from Spam? Same music as the Theme from Jaws, except instead of singing “da da da da” you sing “irritate me, irritate me”.) Now sing it with me. Susan, keep up sweetie. Christa, a little louder dear. Brandy, leave Michele alone. Ahhhh, it’s so nice to be back. Hey, now cue Hello Dolly! Except sing “Hello Bailey” instead. Toni honey, quit laughing.
Spread the word - Spam is back in town!

The Return of Spamarama

My dear. (Yes darling?)
Don’t know where to buy me dic ations. (Don’t look at me. I don’t know where to buy your dic ations either. I’m not sure what dic ations are anyway.)
Can it be? (Yes, it’s spamarama.)
If I did not think. (You wouldn’t be.)
Miss you and need you. (Thanks, I missed you too. Not!)
To buy or not to buy. (That is the question.)
Can’t stand sex all night long. (No, I like to lie down every once in a while.)
Characterize luridly. (Oh, I’m good at that.)
Me penis has gone from 3.5 inches to just over 6” and is still growing. (And you’re telling me this because? Hey wait – can I interest you in the Eiffel Tower, or an extra leg?)
Anything else you need? (Nope, well maybe a nekkid muse or two.)
Wanna hold a brick on your dick? (Not really. Talk to the 6” dick)
Need some help? (No, it’s all coming back to me now.)
Is this as good to you as it is to me? (Oh, much better, I’m sure.)
Wanna last longer in bed? (I did sleep until 7:00 this morning, but 8:00 would be better.)
Hunter attacks critics exCanary. (Now this bothers me on several levels. What type of gun would you use to hunt a Canary? And does this mean that the canary no longer belongs to the critic? Or does it mean that the creature is no longer a canary? And if it isn’t a canary, what was it when the deranged hunter attacked it? Why would the hunter attack it? Was the critic criticizing hunters?)

I can’t promise a post every day, but I’m going to do spam every Friday. Just keep checking in, you never know when I’ll pop up. You can take that as a promise or a warning, whichever you prefer.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm Here

Thank you for the comments, emails, e-cards and snail mail cards - your support has been overwhelming and much appreciated.

I'm doing okay so far, but then I haven't really been alone yet - that starts tomorrow. Right now Glenice (everyone wave hey to Glenice) is painting my mother's room, cauking the bathtub, switching my cable lines (long story there) and being my sounding board (along with Jill - I've been a ranter). She leaves tomorrow morning EARLY (say thank you Bebo) and my brother is supposed to leave today - so it will be just me. I have the week off and after getting things straightened up tomorrow (I'm moving into mom's room), I'm spending the rest of the week sleeping and catching up on my TBR pile.

BTW - I was in the middle of reading a couple of great books when this happened - The Heart of a Mercenary by Loreth Anne White and Deadly Mistakes by Denise Belinda McDonald - and if I can recommend something that I haven't finished yet, I'd recommend both of these. I was really enjoying them and hope to get back to them soon.

I'm thinking there will be spam this Friday, with Monday being the first official relaunch of the blog. I'm not sure about work schedules or stuff, so will probably be sporadic at the blogs, we'll see.

Again, Thank You everyone.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Go Meretta

Today begins the vote for the American Title III contest and I feel that Toni gives the best reason to vote and the link to Meretta's website.

I'm okay. Dealing. Numb at times. A little spooked by the empty house, although mom slept for most of her last month here, there was still someone here. I felt this way right after my father died in hospice in our living room - I think it's also the subconscious thought of someone having died here - and watching too many horror movies.

I read every one of your comments - your support has meant a lot to me. Thank you.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Goodbye Momma

November 15, 1928

October 14, 2006


The nurse just came in and said that she had taken off the rails of the bed and lowered it so we could sit next to mom and say goodbye, that she didn't think mom would make it through the day. Her apnea is about 45 seconds between breathes and her heart beat is escalating.

And say "hello" to my nephew Dylan who surprised me and popped in yesterday. He lives in Missouri and is probably feeling a bit sad that he can't be here - he and mother are quite close.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Update

Sorry, but I just didn't have a lot of time to post this morning.

We went out and got the ball rolling on the funeral, then took a break over at Borders - caramel latte if you're interested. I will tell you that I was very good to Jill's books while I was there (although I almost got caught *gg*) Then back home for a nap.

Mom's temperature was 102.4 this morning and her apnea is worse. She breathes normally a couple of times and then exhales - I could count to 21 before she took the next breath. Her doctor came to see her yesterday - the first time we'd seen a doctor since this began. She said that since mom could be roused, that it could be another 2 weeks. After Bebo and I picked our jaws off the floor she said "but she could die of a heart attack tonight". It's not that we were disappointed that it wouldn't be sooner, just that Bebo can't take that much off of work and I had planned three weeks at max, but that was supposed to include a week between the funeral and going back to work. So we decided to wait and talk to the hospice nurse - they're the ones that are "in the trenches" so to speak. And besides, we remembered that you could rouse dad on the day that he died. When the nurse arrived this morning, we pounced. We told her what the doctor said and she just rolled her eyes - she said she would not be surprised if mom went this weekend and that keeping to the original time-line of a week to 10 days was more realistic (today is the 6th day). She said that mom's body wouldn't hold out another 2 weeks.

Good news though - at least through the weekend mom has continual hospice care - that means that we have nurses 24 hours a day (hence my time for a nap). I won't have to get up at 2:00 a.m. to give her medicine, or turn her, etc. - at least until Monday. They will re-evaluate the situation then. They provide this care in times of crisis (the nurse deemed us exhausted) and for the last five days of the patients life. So if it continues after the weekend it will be because the hospice people believe that this is the end.

So just continue to pray for a quick resolution - when people say they hope they don't sound cruel for saying that, we tell them "it's not like she's getting better - it's going to happen regardless so let it be swift."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thursday Update

Mom took a turn yesterday. Her heartbeat is now irregular and she has a fever. The fever is not from fighting an infection, but rather a part of the dying process. She had to have a little oxygen and they have now brought in a suction machine. She can no longer cough up any mucus that builds up in her throat. From what I understand this can indicate hours or days until the end.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wednesday Update

First off - thanks for all of yesterday laughs, we had a lot of giggles.

Not a lot to report. Mom was peaceful for a majority of the day yesterday - the meds keeping her calm. Then towards evening she experienced what is referred to as "sundowners" - Alzheimer's patients become more agitated in the evening, so she needed extra meds. She did take a couple of sips of water, but that is it - nothing since Sunday. We are now waiting for the nurse to arrive because we have a lot of questions that need answering. Other than that, just a bit of business (getting the Will out of the safety deposit box, finding insurance policies to take to funeral home, etc.) that has to be done. I also have to do an obituary - I have had two experiences with this: 1) my father passed away in hospice and we had the obit written up ahead of time with slots for date of death, viewing, funeral, etc. We were able to put everything we wanted to say, express our love, etc. 2) when my brother Howard passed it was sudden, so we had to write the obit while struggling with shock and grief. We ended up inadvertently leaving stuff out, not phrasing things the way we would have liked, etc. Based on those two situations, we've decided that getting it done now was the better way to go.

Like I said, not a lot to report.

On a totally different subject:
Meretta's first ever writing interview is up at Title Wave . Feel free to comment at the site - you can do so anonymously if you'd like.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tuesday Update

Well, since the SIL said in her comment yesterday most of what I wanted to post today, I'm just going to copy/paste the comment here:

First & foremost THANK YOU to all for hugs, prayers & your wonderful support. It is much appreciated.Now for Mom: The "cocktail" seems to only be working minimally right now. We keep trying various combinations, but nothing seems to give her relief from the pain in her legs/hips and from the hallucinations for more than 4hrs at a time. She's gurgling periodically & it's awful to hear & know that this is really the signal that the end is so near. Today she responded to us when we were working with her; Friday [Bailey's note - actually, it was Saturday] she recognized her sister. But the brief periods of lucidity only make the reality of this more devastating.I've been helping Eve w/ Mary for the past 6yrs. I love her like another mother & I can tell you that our hearts are simply broken. Yes, I will be staying with them at night now. Family members are coming & going, but not staying. Their presence only disturbs Mary at this point. Hospice is providing meds, equipment & support as well.KEEP PRAYING that Mary is released from this particular hell quickly. She deserves the blessed peace of passing.Personally I would urge all to support your local Alzheimer's Assoc, Hospice or VNA. They are angels in disguise.

Okay, my turn. They put mother on a Fentanyl patch Monday. It is for pain and takes approximately 48 hours to kick in, so in the meantime we are giving her a pain medication every 6 hours (Lortab Elixir). This doesn't always work as she has frequent "breakthrough" pains. I wondered exactly what it was we said to the evaluating nurse on Saturday to cause her to immediately pick up the admission papers and fill them out until the Social Worker handed me a 2 page information sheet last night entitled "The Final Stages of Life - Signs and Symptoms of Approaching Death". The first thing listed was:

Eating and drinking: There is a gradually decreasing need for food and fluids. The body naturally begins to conserve energy and requires less nourishment. At this stage, there is increased risk of choking secondary to confusion and/or the inability to swallow properly. Difficulty swallowing occurs first with solid foods. This progresses to difficulty swallowing fluids. Your loved one will say that he or she doesn't have an appetite and isn't hungry. This is the body's natural response to the dying process. It is telling you that eating and drinking are no longer helpful and that the body can no longer use food and fluid properly.

So I guess when we told her that mom was choking on liquids and refusing food, she knew immediately that the end is near. Mother had difficulty swallowing her pain medication last night - choking and gagging on the liquid. I don't know what they will do when she can no longer swallow it - injections maybe?

There is so much I have to do during this time - make funeral arrangements, find insurance policies, change billing options on our utilities, get ready to close bank accounts, etc. My head is full and makes it difficult to concentrate on any one thing.

Please, please make me laugh - even if it's a groaner because you know how I love those.

Thank you again for your overwhelming support - it means the world to me.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Sounds of Silence

It’s finally quiet around here. We had to use a combination of three drugs (Lorazepam, Seroquel and Haloperidol for those interested) to get mom to quit screaming and ranting (Hallucinations), rest, and to get her combativeness under control. Saturday night she hit me while I tried to change her diaper. I am sure you would agree that she would much rather be drugged than to be abusing me. Its so quiet now that it's spooky.

A couple of weeks ago mom began choking on her food – she was losing that part of her brain that told her how to swallow. Last week she began to refuse food and water and we had to force her through coercion, bribery and down-right threats to get her to eat even a little bit. We could have had feeding tubes put in, but that would mean that she would either have to be tied down 24 hours a day or put in a comatose stage in order to keep her from pulling the tubes out. That is no kind of life. If there were a chance that she would get better, that would be different. But this is Alzheimer’s and there is no better. It was decided that there would be no feeding tubes and we would let nature (and God) take its course. The worse part of this has been the hallucinations – the week-long screaming and ranting rage that lasted almost 24 hours a day (this was before hospice) – my mother lying in bed screaming like an animal and yelling obscenities at people who weren’t there. Also no way to live.

The prognosis is a week to 10 days – it really depends upon her physical health (good) and her body fat – so it could be 2 weeks. I will try to keep you updated as things progress.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mom is going into hospice. She is refusing food and water. At this rate, they believe it will be only a week or two and she will be gone. She is continuing to scream and rant at nothing - she is being tortured by demons only her Alzheimer's brain can see. She needs to be at peace - that is what I pray for.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Outta Here

I’m not quite certain how to put this, so here goes – I’m gone. Outta here. I’m taking a rest (sabbatical really). I feel as if things are closing in on me, and the constant need to try to be funny, to think of things to write about, etc. are wearing on me. I can’t do this for a while. It will only be for a little bit – I’m planning on returning on the 16th. I may still pop up on one of your blogs here and there – not planning to, but things can happen. No spamarama during that time either – I just don’t have a funny drop in my body at the moment. Typing is becoming painful too – grabbing the sheet and turning her several times a day is aggravating my arthritis and my fingers are stiffening up. I’m still available by email if you want to pop me a line, just expect my answers to be short as, like I said, typing is painful. I think the voting for the American Title Contest starts the 16th too – Meretta will let me know. Until then, I plan to do a little reading and resting – so do check in on Isn’t It Romantic for reviews – there should be one by the weekend.

And Kim, your book will be mailed by the weekend.

Take care, behave – because you never know when I might pop in.

Love to you all.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Contest

Not here ... at Loreth's and it's a doozy. She has great prizes for both readers and writers, so go check it out.

Susie, oh Susie - I need a photographer because Bubba Seamas can't work his paws around the digital camera. Go figure. I mean, what is he good for?

That's it people, I'm exhausted, and not only that, but I'm tired too. My body is in a great amount of pain, so am keeping it short right now. Catch you later.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Attention All Blogsters

Our wonderful Meretta is a finalist in a HUGE writing contest in which the winner is chosen by public vote and awarded a publishing contract from Dorchester Publishing!

* In May she entered a contest called American Title III and out of hundreds of manuscripts received, her book (a romantic suspense titled RISING SIN) was chosen as one of ten finalists.
* The contest's forum is the Romantic Times Books Review Magazine, as well as their web page at www.romantictimes.com (her biography & picture will be in both SOON)
* Each month different parts of their stories are posted -- Best First Line, Best Hero/Heroine Description, Best Story Summary, Best Dialogue Scene, Best Romantic Scene (possible adult content) -- and for two weeks each month people from all over the world (that's you!) vote by email for their favorite entry.
* Two contestants are cut each voting period until only two remain.
* One vote per email address so if you have two, use two. Three? Four? Use them!
* The voting dates are specific (Round one starts Oct 16-29) so there will be reminders at least twice during those time frames.

Please cut/paste this information and pass it on.

Information can be found at Meretta's website

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Days of T.O.'s Lives

Like sands through the hour glass …

A recap of this week’s episodes:

When we last saw our intrepid, spoiled, athlete he had been rushed to the hospital to have his stomach pumped. Did he take 35 pills? Did he try to end his well-moneyed life? How did the private report leak to the press? These were the questions that haunted this sleepy burg in the middle of the week.

It was a circus. So here’s the low-down. T.O., trying to recuperate from hand surgery so that he can return to the field, mixed supplements with pain pills (no overdose). Experts say when this is done the individual involved will become disoriented and groggy. So when the ever-diligent police officer asked T.O. if he had tried to hurt himself, he replied in the affirmative. If the police officer had asked him if he were 9 months pregnant with quintuplets, T. O. would have said yes. After a night in the hospital, T.O. was back on the practice field the next day. I haven’t heard yet whether he will be playing today or not, but he is intent on playing against the Eagles next week.

So other than the unusual soap opera, what else do I have to say about today’s game? Vince Young will be making his debut as the starting QB for the Titans, not the veteran Kerry Collins. Fresh meat. A baby on the NFL gridiron. This isn’t college ball Vince. You’ve never faced the likes of Roy Williams, Marcus Spears, Greg Ellis, DeMarcus Ware, Terence Newman and Anthony Henry. Ware is number 94. It will be tattooed on your chest by the end of the game. And you Titan RB’s? You should be pretty fresh at the end since the stingy Cowboy defense is not likely to allow you to run very much. Do we win this game? It’s those nasty intangibles. Vince Young could step into the pocket an assured player, confident in his abilities. The Cowboy’s defense could decide that it’s a picnic and not give it their all. And there’s those awful penalties that plagued last weeks game. A team can defeat itself with penalties alone.

These are the Days of T.O.’s Lives …

Update: T.O. is dressed and is supposed to start, but even the pre-game analysts are saying don't be sure until he steps out on the field.