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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Hurry up and wait

You need to be at the airport two hours before your flight, or so the wisdom goes, but I find myself sitting and waiting most of those two hours. These whirlwind trips are exhausting.
Had a nice book signing. Sold three books, one to a former student well past his ten year class reunion. It was nice to spend more time with grandson, the kids and Grinnygranny. I did have to clean out the fish bowl as none of them seem to be able to do any more than just feed the poor thing. Dogs and cats were happy to see me. Sometimes you need to get away from what you have to really appreciate it.
Our van's ABS light keeps coming on, and I had them take it in to get checked out. $90 later they couldn't find the problem. It comes on then when you turn off the car and it stays off for awhile till it comes back on again. Sure enough on the way to drop me off it came back on again. I told Grinnygranny to take it back to the service repair shop so they can see we are not hallucinating. She got there at 7:00am and they don't open to 8:00am on weekends. She decided not to sit and run it for an hour and went home.
Guess I have the time to catch up on all the other bloggers before it's time to board the plane.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Home sweet home

Even if it is only for two nights. Flew in this morning and it's nice to spend time with my energetic and noisy grandson. Made new handouts for my booksigning tomorrow and cut down my poster (courtesy of B Dalton's) to fit a picture frame -- getting upscale!
Went to school and picked up textbooks to take back with me and start working on lesson plans -- just in case I don't make it back for the first days of school.
I'm going to write a journal about this experience. Mom encouraged me yesterday as we were driving to Tyler to get her new glasses that had come in. Penni's MIL was watching Dad for us. I told her I had thought about doing that with this blog, but thought it would be way too morbid for non-family readers, and upsetting to family members not here. I may post portions of the journal later -- perhaps much later when the perspective of time can soften the words.
Looks like I'll have to put a new air conditioner on the house. It was making a lot of noise before I left, but is really making a racket now. I'm putting the roof on hold until later, just not much later.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Over did it

Dad got up this morning as chipper and energetic as I've seen him since I got here. He was talking up a storm. I was planning on going out to get a hair cut today so Mom suggested we all go to Athens (thirty miles from here) where she gets her hair done and then have lunch. After my hair cut it was too early for lunch so we drove to Palestine (they pronounce it Palesteen around here) and back for the scenery. It is a pretty drive. Had lunch in Athens and then came home. It really wore Dad out. He's sleeping now. When we got home he said, "No more long trips."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back to normal

Family came in Sunday. Got video of Dad reading a book to Ritchie. I don't have the right cord to transfer the video to my computer or onto vhs tape. We went to see the new Harry Potter movie yesterday and I let Grinnygranny pick out a nice outfit at Sagharbor for her birthday. They left this morning. Got a call a little while ago and they made it to Clovis and will be back home without too much trouble tomorrow.

Finally had time to catch up on all the news in the blog world.

Scott Horton at No Comment has so many pertinent articles it's hard to list them all. I could spend the better part of each day reading just this blog.
My own observation from all that I've read today at Ariana Huffington and Scott Horton is that Dick Cheney has become America's Rasputin.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

whirlwind weekend

Flew back to Albuquerque Thursday. When I got in E was being sent to an emergency room as a pallat had fallen on his foot. Then while waiting on word of his condition -- they bandaged it up and sent him back to the store. We found our Cocker Spaniel had an abscess on his front paw. Took him to the vet, got anti-biotics and they lanced it. Went to pick up E and brought him home.
Friday E was scheduled to work a couple of hours later than usual. They told him he'd answer the phones instead of being on the floor. We went to have lunch with Grinnygranny and took him to work, he can't drive his truck which is standard and he can't use the clutch with his hurt left foot. Antiepesty left to spend time with her boyfriend, taking R with her and I then went to my book signing. When it came time to put a table, chair, poster and bag with books in E's truck we had a downpour. Got drenched. When I got to the Hastings they had a table set up with ten books. I sold two, but one person told me that my book was mentioned at a home school convention, so maybe I'm starting to get a buzz on the book. Then picked E up from work.
They were planning on leaving to drive down here Saturday morning so E and autiepesty could spend time with Dad before he gets to the point where the pain medication makes him sleep all the time. My flight back was for Sunday and I decided to fly back a day early and changed flights. Got back just a little after Bruce left, so Mom wasn't left here alone with Dad for very long.
I'm hoping that Grinnygranny, auntiypesty, E and R have a safe trip. They should be here tomorrow morning.
Mom had to put a third pain patch on Dad today and a number of pills before he settled down. He got up and ate supper then sat for about two hours in the recliner dozing off and on before heading back to bed. I'm hoping he'll be more alert when the family gets here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Gratitude and Rage

I've had a lot of time to think about things while trying to keep cool and dry among the Kudzu of East Texas. The hospice nurses have been coming every three days to check on Dad and deliver the medication to keep him pain free. It has been such a blessing. At the first hint of pain we can give him something to ease it. When the time comes they will provide an electric hospital bed. One of their assistants is coming today to give Dad a shower. I did have to get a shower head on a hose to help with this yesterday -- cost all of 8 bucks, and installed it. They will come every other day to keep him clean. And all of this is 100% paid by Medicare. It is hard to describe the relief and gratitude for this service. As we have questions about what to expect in the next few weeks as he declines they are very knowledgable and experienced on the process.
Then I think back four years to when my Father-in-law was spending his final days. He died of bladder cancer in Albuquerque. A veteran of World War II, long time parts manager of a car dealership that passed hands to multiple owners, and a wonderful man. When he decided not to endure any more radiation treatments and Hospice was brought in they quickly assessed the situation and insisted he be placed in a nursing home. There was no offer of pain management, in-house care, special bed or anything. I remember him sitting in the living room whimpering in pain. For the last month in the nursing home he was neglected for hours at a time without any relief. I spent most of my time shuttling my Mother-in-law and wife back and forth, but no one could spend nights with him, and we would get calls from the nursing home in the middle of the night telling us he had gotten up from the wheel chair and fell. We tried to get them to stop wheeling him to the dining room and feed him in bed, in fact just keep him in bed, but they would wheel him to the dining room and then wheel him back to his room, then not put him in bed for hours. He would finally try to get in bed on his own and naturally fall. Blessedly he breathed his last, but when I compare the way my father is being treated by Hospice to my FIL it just makes me angry that such a wonderful man died in so much pain and discomfort and neglect and knowing what I do now that it didn't have to be that way.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Quiet night

Finally had a chance to get out on the golf course yesterday. Dad was sleeping peacefully, Mom didn't have anything she needed to do, sun was shining and the course was open. The humidity out here really drains you! It's only been a week since I've played, but it felt like I did 36 holes instead of 18. The course wasn't in very good shape, but at least I got to hit that little white ball and chase it. (I had to stop and think, yes I've only been here a week, seems like just a few hours at times and more like a month at others.)
Bruce and family came in. Dad was up for a little while and I was able to get video of everyone.
He was up and had a good breakfast this morning, They got to spend more time with him and say goodbye before having to leave, Bruce was a little worried about trying to get over the Red River to get home. Bruce is going to try and come out to help Mom when I go back for the book signing. Hope I sell a good number of books for all the cost involved in being there.
The satelite here has been down almost all day as there was a stationary line of thunderstorms south of us blocking the internet until around 7pm. Dad just had a good supper, and is now back in bed. Tomorrow Mom and I are going to rearrange the living room to try to make it easier for him to spend time out here.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Time passing

I've been in soggy East Texas since Sunday. When I arrived Hospice was here and went over the pain regimine. Dad was doing well and was quite alert. Monday he did well and was even up much more than normal. Wednesday he slept a little bit more. Bruce came with wife and son. They spent time with him and we sat and watched a movie. Dad got through most of it, but couldn't sit for all of it. They left Thursday morning for Mississippi to pick up their daughter and will be back tomorrow so she can spend some time with Dad too. We took Dad to his doctor, ate a nice meal, he spent the rest of the evening sleeping -- seems the trip really tired him out. Then this morning he woke up in pain. The hospice lady doubled his patch and brought more medication. The tumor has noticably grown. He's spent most of the day sleeping, we don't know if it's the medication or if he's just tired out from all that's happened this week. We're hoping for a better day tomorrow when Bruce and his family show up.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Man's vanity

Third Commandment: Thou Shalt not take the Lord thy God's name in vain.
Growing up every preacher that covered the Ten Commandments explained this commandment as you should not take God lightly or use his name profanely. But a curious thing happened as I was traveling through Texas, where every little town you drive through, and there are a lot of little towns in Texas, has posted a picture, billboard or monument of the Ten Commandments. Something that didn't exist thirty years ago when I lived in Texas.
I started going over the the ten forbiddens and started thinking about the word vain. You discribe a person who is vain as self-centered. Thinking only of themselves. Doing something something to exalt yourself is called vanity. So is not this commandment an admonition to not claim God or use God's name to exalt yourself? Could it not be said more plainly in today's language as THOU SHALT NOT CLAIM TO BE GOD, or DON'T CLAIM WHAT YOU THINK AND DO AS GOD'S THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS.
It seems to be a big movement with the moral mafia to substitute symbols for reality. Our governmental leadersip at all levels is the most corrupt, amoral, and nonresponsive to the needs of their constituents I've ever known so they proclaim days of celebrations for the Bill of Rights, and have a day where all teachers teach about the Bill of Righs and post them all over the schools, meanwhile back at the ranch the American Patriot Act has repealed Habeus Corpus effectively nullifying the Bill of Rights and rendering it meanlingless. HOW GOOD ARE THEY IF THEY CAN THROW YOU IN JAIL AND KEEP YOU THERE INDEFINITLY WITHOUT CHARGE OR ATTORNEY!
In essence with this President and Vice Regent we've gone back to the Divine Right of Kings where our government leader claim they are answerable only to God, or history or posterity -- Just trust us. In reality they become God. There is little practical difference between Divine Right and the Egyptian Pharaohs or Roman Emperors who claimed to be God. Is this not taking "The Lord's name in vain?"
In analogy religious leaders are substituting the symbol of law and morality by displaying the Ten Commandments while in reality they are violating just about every one of them. The very display violates the admonition to not make a graven image and worship idols.
I'm not Catholic and don't wish to denegrate their beliefs, but as a Baptist that has been one of our major divisions with Catholicism -- their belief that the Pope as Vicar of Christ speaks for God. To Catholicisms credit they limit this power to only one person or council. I the last thirty years the moral mafia has distorted the Protestant "Priesthood of the Believer" into making every loudmouth, opinonated, local Preacher into a self-appointed Pope. As examples: The Rev. Donald Wildmon is a self-appointed censor for the national airwaves throwing tempertantrums if a western mini-series uses the word poke as a euphemism of sexual intercourse, and horrors of horrors Janet Jackson displayed a pasty for a hundreth of a second at the Super Bowl half time show. Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, and the numerous other mega-church, televangelist leaders of the moral mafia think that whatever their interpretation of scripture is, has to be the only way to interpret that scripture and everyone else has to believe exactly the way they do. Is that not taking God's name in vain? Is that not in effect and reality claiming not just to speak for God but that you ARE GOD!
This is the four days of Blog Against Theocracy. Why am I against an established church in this country, because my faith is personal not collective or national or uniform. My interpretations of scripture are mine and if you disagree that is perfectly fine by me you have the right to be wrong. But I will never coerce or force anyone to believe as I do and those corrupt, bloated, thugs of the moral mafia who want to force me into their literal interpretive theological and poliical compartments can follow the words of the Apostle Peter as he spoke them to Simon the Magician in the book of Acts, "May thy money perish with thee."

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Heavy heart

Mom at caregiver2 has posted the prognosis of my father. We've been dealing with his Alzheimers for a number of years and she was agonizing over placing him in a nursing home. Now that"s not the problem. When I got here today the lady from Hospice was going over all the paperwork. They've started his pain medication and he seemed much more alert and energetic than when we were here a month ago for auntiepesty's graduation. I'm not sure how long I'll be here. Right now it's a wait and see. It could be a week or Mom may need me to help until it's all over, which we've been told could be four to eight weeks.
I'll post on the Debate over Theocracy tomorrow and give updates in the days ahead as well.