Friday, April 9, 2021

Tempis Fugit

Time, there is never enough. I remember in college someone told me there was a trick to staying up all night and being rested in the morning. I was so disappointed they couldn't remember that valuable tip. It is nearing 50 years later and I think I know how and it is no tip.


Late at night, sometimes my mind races in frustration over my sister who had a stroke. She has been conned and been difficult to manage while making modest strides towards being independent. I would do guardianship of her but she would fight me every step of the way. Today, the home health care people quit her.  I'm not terribly disappointed they quit. I've never considered their efforts that good. Her insurance pays like for 26 visits whether they are checking her blood sugar or doing physical therapy.

My sister needs proper physical therapy and I need to stay with her when it is occurring. The fact that their arrival is so unpredictable makes it impossible. Add to that, my sister has said they stay about four minutes. One thing that happens when someone is mentally disabled is they are vulnerable to the my word versus your word. It's assumed they are always disoriented. There was a blow out with one yesterday and I can honestly say. My sister probably got angry too fast and was unreasonable. 

The physical therapist was unable to communicate for my sister and pursued an argument. As the professional and person without a stroke, she could have done better. Add to that, I came by my sister's house shortly after the fiasco and one thing that was said about my sister was probably not true. What I was told was said was from the fourth person in the chain of hearing and telling. 

In the United States, one thing everyone of some middle class wealth should do is get long term nursing care insurance if offered. If you have no money, Medicaid will cover the cost. If you have the money, you can foot the bill yourself. But for those in the middle, it is between $4000 to $8000 a month. Add a bit of dementia to the stew, you have a right mess to deal with. Most importantly make the decision to accept living in an old folks home. If you live long enough, you may be lucky to be there. I know in my family, our bodies get too frail as we age. Luckily we keep our minds which I hope happens for me.

My sister needs to be in a personal care home. The problem is you can't make someone live where they don't want to even with guardianship. She spent 20 days in a nursing home rehab and she cannot tell you enough how horrible it was. 

When my sister lived with me, I allowed her to save her money so she would be able to live in a good facility. Then the parasites started circling her. The first one was a man who had a meth problem. At one time, he was a respectable business man. It started with my sister giving him a gift of $500. Next it was a check for $1500. The next was her friend Debbie who always needed money. Heck, even I gave Debbie money. Then it was a old high school chum who encouraged her to move out. The first night my sister was in her home, that girls mother came to my sister's house around midnight wanting to talk to her. Their idea was for my sister to stay with the mother and the old chum to live in my sister's house. Luckily, my sister recognized that it was a terrible offer. 

In a series of bad decisions, my sister has racked up debt. People who have come to her house to help her have stolen from her. The first thing they always did was get her rip roaring mad at me. Getting me out of the picture was always needed. 

A neighbor who was mowing her grass and doing odd jobs for a payment of either $500 or $1000 a month no longer speaks to her or me because she has told him she can't afford to pay him that anymore. I did see her give him $1000 in cash and knew there was a problem. I just did not have the power to control the situation. This has been one of the good things that has happened. My sister has been easier for me help with him out of the picture. 

I think he meant well at first. Like many amateurs he overcharged for his services, and I think he did not want to become her de facto caregiver. He may have learned what the bottom feeders know. You can get in a lot of trouble taking money from someone like my sister. The neighborhood is made up of relatively new homes and many of the neighbors are black which is a good thing. As an ethnicity, black people are more tolerate of the failings of others. As an older woman, if I look at a black man no matter their age, they will ask me if I need help. White men do it too but not as often as black people. So her neighborhood is safe and if something is awry, they would call the police. 

The big thing the neighbor did that was wrong was he butted his nose into me being able to take care of my sister. I hate that people never respected that it was me that was always going to pick up the pieces. I particularly despise anyone telling me that she should be able to live on her own. They don't get the crying phone calls about how she is miserable because of different things. They don't spend $3000 paying her property taxes so her home isn't sold in a tax sale. They don't love her. They just say she made her bed let her lie in it. She is mentally unable to care for herself. It don't work that way. 

There are no simple answers. Yet that is the root of people who assume they know more. This is why so many are tired of thoughts and prayers. It is easy to mouth these words. What she needs is a friend who will talk about real things and visit her, wash her dishes, be wise enough to get her on another topic and have a conversation.

So no, I don't sleep well anymore. I'm lucky if I get six hours. 

My sister's yard is very small. I have a developmentally delayed brother who would enjoy mowing it while I helped her inside the house. But her sense of wanting to be independent makes her want to hire someone which is fine by me. As long as she has a roof over her head, food, medicine, medical care and other necessities, I'll have to be satisfied. 

The bright spot is that if she had been in a personal care home; she would have had problems due to Covid restrictions. I do have a friend who lives in a nursing home. There were days when they had to keep the door to their rooms closed. Just a little television or whatever to while away the hours. For my sister, she still has that desire to live a vibrant life. It is just that her body is not cooperating. 

I do what I can for my sister and plan to continue. Honestly, there are no magic agencies or any thing to help. I remember reading about if you don't plan for your retirement, you will live in poverty in your old age. I know some think the government will take care of you if you are poor. They will. But it will not be as comfortable and easy as you think. 

My mother could be in a nursing home. My dad left her well provided for. But she has her own room with what she needs that she enjoys. My mom sleeps in a lift chair and the equally comfortable spare lift chair beside her is where her 14 pound chihuahua, Jojobelle sits. My mother is relatively independent in her personal care. 

 I bring a book to my mother's room in the evening to read as she watches Matlock or the old Perry Mason. I was surprised to learn how good silent movies are. My mom wears hearing aids and she uses closed captioning to watch television. Mom busies herself with taking care of herself, taking care of Jojobelle, reading, sorting photographs. In short, she has a good attitude.

I've learned that you can't master or control anything about life. My situation is like many parents whose children I taught. Their child resisted doing any school work without intense pressure. They always wanted ideas to motivate them. There was very little they could do except dog them to do their work. I felt keenly for these parents in that they understood what a cruel teacher life can be.

I'm a very blessed person. I have good health, financial security, a purpose in life. This was a vent blog which I normally don't publish. It is Friday morning. I fell asleep at 12:30 am and slept until 9 am. So I feel great.

Tempis Fugit 

Friday, April 2, 2021

My corner of the world

 I live in the deep South of the United States. I was born in Georgia and my ancestors were some of the original white settlers in Georgia. Whether I have wanted it or not; I am what a native Georgian is. I say this in that I have never bought into the Southern mystique. I don't believe in the moonlight and magnolia legacy. Most of what I know about the South I learned from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

But language has always been my love. There is a word that I have always wanted to know the root of and that word is Asscelling. It is used like, Quit asscelling around and get a move on it. Or as my dad would say "step lively". And in sheer frustration, Quit asscelling around and get in the dang car. It's funny how you can hear your parent's voice long after they are gone. The voice is not there, but the words linger. 

Asscelling has always been a mystery to me. Other words I heard and could not place eventually came home to me.

One time I said ornery to my students and they thought I said I was horny. The Southern pronunciation was ornry. I was lucky enough that one of my students of the midwestern persuasion correctly pronounced the word. I suspect she had heard my pronunciation in Ohio or somewhere in the midwest. It saved me some embarassment.

Another word is Cairn. Something smells like cairn or rotten meat. It is pronounced with a hard K sound.  I read another writer on Facebook explaining what Karne was. I wanted to correct her. But you know, I had always heard the word like she was explaining. It wasn't the Spanish word transposed into English.

Spanish makes me think of another word that I heard as a young woman which was Vamoose which is Spanish to get the heck out of here. 

So if you know what the word Asscelling really is; enlighten me.

Cheerio to all you A to Zers. This year I just plan to kick back and read. This is the google webpage with a listing of all the A to Z fun. 

Update: I found the word on this webpage,

Friday, March 19, 2021

 And the wolf is at your door. That was so true 200 years ago for many people. Houses were built with no porches and where they could see what was around them as they left their homes. I've read where people probably survived due to their symbiotic relationship with dogs. Dogs gave them warnings of danger. My favorite dog story is the one of my brother's stepson. His grandmother took stray dogs in. His grandparents owned a junkyard. People would creep in to steal what they needed. It was not unusual in the morning for one of his grandparents to rescue someone who had spent the night on top of a car. The dogs would quietly circle the miscreant and then announce their presence. 

My dad had a man that worked under him at RAFB. Other supervisors did not like this man but my dad kept him on his team. He always felt there was something unrecognized about the man. Later, the man saved a group of children after church from a rabid dog. Most people would have protected themselves and their own children or the ones easy to save. This man picked up a stout stick and walked over to the sick animal and dealt with the situation. At that point in time, contracting rabies was a death sentence for anyone. Although there is a treatment if you are exposed to rabies, rabies is still a problem where I live. And if you don't start treatment in the beginning, it is still a death sentence. I keep every animal I have inoculated. 

We have record numbers of children at the United States border. It is a burden. I think we should take them in and educate them. They will be the workforce of tomorrow. America is a graying country. Plus who doesn't feel humility to know one of them is ten years old and has walked from Bolivia in South America. It is 4237 miles as the crow flies on one Google search. I don't think too many crows have picked him up and carried him. I get it that our borders should not be porous. I'm just thinking about the ten year old. I wonder if he has a home to go to.

One problem for migrants is there are human traffickers who just see a dollar sign when they look at that vulnerable population. For some that wolf is breathing in their face. My mom and I were talking about several teenagers would be good to have around. They could stay with us, go to school and help us out around the house some. I know the deal would be much more complicated and could become an out of control hell.  But the ten year old, I know someone would love to adopt him.

I made my living teaching teenagers and I liked them and loved them. The highlight of my career was teaching at an evening high school. They did not admit many younger than 16. The school's policy was it could expel a young person from all public schools in Georgia for one year. And it happened to a few. What I found working with these young people were they had had many hard knocks. The spoiled ones never lasted but a few days. Georgia does not issue driver's licenses to anyone under 18 not enrolled in school. Few lasted the eight days needed to get the paper work for the driver's registration.

You never asked them a question if you weren't prepared for the brutal truth. They did their work like a requirement. When they were finished, they were finished. The secret for total cooperation was their knowing they could trust you. These kids knew about trust. They understood the wolf. 

In dealing with them, a lot of instincts kicked in. One was I never let them know when I bent the rules. If they had a disagreement with you, for some it entailed a character assassination of you. That bent rule in their favor could be used to attack you. They would ask me specific questions like how many absences and tardies they had. This is something I did not fudge on. Three tardies counted as an absence. X amount of absences meant they did not get credit for the class. 

Where I fudged was grades. I had some who needed help to get to the passing grade. There were a few who a higher average helped them get the GA lottery scholarship to college. One semester, It began to snow the night before exams. So we could give kids their final a day early. In a chemistry class, I gave them the first hour to study. Many wanted the test then and to leave. I decided to add a point to their average for every five minutes they studied. One young lady studied for 45 minutes. She received a very high average as a result.

My dad passed away that night. My grandmother was in the hospital and we were expecting her to pass. As that young lady studied, I looked at the clock. I remember around 8:25; it was like a presence was in the classroom and it said, "So this is where you work." The presence felt very joyful. I had heard of things happening when people passed. I was surprised in that I did not know my grandmother well. We lived an 8 hour drive from her my entire life. After I had graded papers and turned grades in for the semester, I heard my phone beep as I packed up my classroom. I got the terrible news. I had about two minutes worth of work left but it took me a clumsy 15 to 20 minutes to get it knocked out of the way. My dad had passed after 8 PM that night. 

Like everyone, I have fought my battles. But that night, I lost my back-up. Oh I know I have had people help me over the years. I may have known it or never known. One of the gifts my dad gave me was to not fear the wolf. I was never a 17 year old walking into a different country that spoke another language. I was girl who went to a local hamburger place after a football game whose dad just happened to there. A man who for no reason had purchased many burgers, fries and sodas for me and my friends. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

2nd Covid Shot - I'll post a picture of my new seCond heAd IF i cAN geT It EXcHangED for ThE oNE i waNtED.

 Four of us got the second Covid shot today. My sister who had a stroke qualifies as of Monday in that she is 55 and unfortunately has diabetes. Monday morning, I shall call and get her signed up if possible. We got the Moderna shot. Hopefully she can get the Johnson and Johnson since it is only one shot.

And yes, I have sPRoutEd a SecoNd HeAD and no I don't like the color. The head is a brilliant orange with purple spots and I specifically wanted a green one with an orange and purple paisley design. Science can be so frustrating. My great aunt said to take a tylenol and exercise my arm. I forgot to take a tylenol. THat cOUlD bE THe pROBlemo.

The head also has an attitude which I will discuss later when it is gone. I told it to take the earrings off. They look like little handbags. She rolled her eyes and asked me when was the last time I plucked my chin. 

So be careful. Take your tylenol and get the head you really wanted. 

Today I plan to take it easy. I plan to plant a few items and otherwise relax. I hope all is well with you.

Chillin' from Central GA

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Everybody is wild about Harry and who doesn't have an opinion about Meghan.

 On many fronts, I have a compromised opinion of how Harry Mountbatten-Windsor and Meghan Markle live their lives. Some are due to the fact that I don't find their lives that interesting. BUT, I do love Harry. And yes as an American, I'm very proud of Meghan Markle.

My mom feels that Meghan knew who Prince Harry was and she should have been a help mate and rose to the occasion. I agree with my mother. I admire Meghan chutzpah to marry into the British royal family. But the two of them just quitting their highfalutin jobs as senior royals is quite bold.

One reason the formerly royal couple fled to California is the British Tabloid press. The British tabloid press from my perspective across the Atlantic is composed of different girls baring their bosoms on say page 4, day after day or week after week. Any news content is composed of what nasty things we can say to bring the mighty down. I'm sure someone who rescues a cat or dog is featured in every issue. Kind of like Twitter all nailed down without the oddball posts like "my cat just died, can I get a few follows".

Ahem, we have tabloids in the States minus the perky bosoms. We are a bit prudish in the States. Our movie stars have a skinny strip of fabric over their nipples when they wear a daring gown at a posh award's show. If you don't hear an F-bomb imploding on a American film, you may need to get your hearing checked. It is only a matter of time we have a cute little ditty for children to sing along with the f-bomb.

An American celebrity who is from Britain is Sharon Osbourne. When Meghan and Harry first came to North America, she predicted they would be interviewed by Oprah. I remember listening to her comment and she clearly had a dog in the fight and felt keenly protective of the royal family and tradition. 

Personally, I feel everyone has the right to quit a job they hate. Despite the luxury that comes with being a member of a royal family, I don't think I would enjoy the limelight nor the job either. So I am sympathetic to the two. I'm very happy for the two. 

Now why are Americans so interested in the British royal family. For me, it's the fact that they still exist. Fairytales can be real. All the romanticism of King Arthur and Knights of the round table lived in my childhood home. 

I got a chair out of a pile of garbage in the neighborhood I grew up in. I recognized what the chair was. An 88 year old woman I knew when I was about 25 had one. It was her grandmother's nursing chair. I took this found chair to the Antique Roadshow when it was in Raleigh, NC. The Keno brothers teased me a bit in they speculated on what had chewed the deer hide seat. I knew it was worthless from the banter which they later confirmed. But they did share the chair was probably from the early 1800's.

I'm a lover of what could be, what could have been. I loved fantasy and science fiction when I was in my twenties. Now, not so much, I've moved onto reality, non-fiction, memoirs or sounds like it could have happened fiction.

I'm not ready to part with my chair. I still think of the woman who used it. In studying my family history, people had 15 kids and those kids had 15 too. I'm sure the chair was well used. I will pass the chair to either a much younger history buff family member or sell it to a collector of  primitive furniture who can appreciate what it is hopefully for someone else in the distant future. 

But the future can be quite good and bad for us all and my precious chair. Only time will tell if Harry and Meghan made a good choice and even then they can't go back and relive an alternate life without a bit of pain mixed with the good. But a friend of mine who cancels out her husband's vote in most elections said that she and her husband agreed about Harry and Meghan. I decided not to ask the conclusion. 

I don't plan to watch the interview but my mother will. So I will hear bits and pieces. The news will carry anything salacious. In regards to accusations of Meghan bullying staff members at Buckingham Palace; Meghan and Harry are here to stay. It is all over but the shouting as they say.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Social Media is partly to blame.

I remember when I was in college Studio 54 was in it's heyday. I honestly thought that if I ever went to New York City, I would go. Now I know there is no way they would have let me in. And if they had let me in, I would have been paralyzed witnessing some of the stories they had about the place. I have spent a life with a degree of naivete. 

Fotothek df n-15 0000413 Disko
East German Discotheque circa 1977

It is interesting that suddenly a lot has been banned on Facebook and Twitter. Ya think it could be a financial decision. The 2.9 billion lawsuit by a voting machine company over lost revenue will be an interesting bit of television. I was busy cleaning my brother's house getting it ready for sale and missed much of the impeachment trial. I was not surprised by the verdict. Trump's defense attorneys did not offer much of a defense. They knew going in there were not enough votes to convict for inciting the insurrection.

But---Social Media has some blame. Not the companies, but the lies people casually shared with one another. I shared a few too. One of my posts came back as partially false on Facebook. I deleted the post. I noticed a grammar issue and a misspelled word which I should have noted as a red flag. 

My beef with social media is more personal. I have a sister who has had a stroke. Predators use social media well and they can be someone local. The other nuisance is the well meaning fount of wisdom who gives advice which they do not know is useless and counterproductive.

In following politics on twitter, I know why the gist of twitter eluded me. There is too much flotsam. I enjoy some of the politics. Some of it is just mean spirited opinion. Some of it is news before it is news.  Having learned twitter by anger over the insurrection, I recognize one big fact.

I will never have a valid platform on any social media site. I'm just not an exciting person. I've noticed we all join a subgroup and become an echo chamber of opinions. I will say I avoided politics on Facebooks and still do. But politics is quite fun on twitter. I hate that some have been banned in that I don't think going to little known sites creates a healthy environment. Part of a healthy viewpoint is that chiding we all get that moderates our opinions.

A local professor has been put in the limelight via twitter by a student for a quite nasty comment they made to a student. As a retired teacher, I think about how a bit of well said sarcasm was enjoyed by students including the target of the sarcasm. But it could get you in hot water. So I sympathize with this teacher. I don't know her from Adam's housecat, and her comment was horrible.. 

I loved my summer school students who were really a classroom of boys who did not turn in a paper. You never got a student in there with low marks due to lack of ability. I had one class that I thought was going to best me. But after two weeks, they calmed down and were really quite nice kids. 

One lad would tell me he could not do the assignments. He sat next to me and was really very bright. He would start that petty banter with me. I was reading and marking papers. I turned to him and told him I couldn't fix stupid and winked at him. He loved it. But man, on twitter, I would have had to leave the country for saying something like that. Although those boys could be rascals, I doubt any of them would have ratted me out on twitter.

Meanwhile none of this is very important for those scrambling in Texas and other regions with the powerful winter storms they are experiencing. I pray they get their power going, pipes repaired and water flowing soon. There is a lot of real suffering happening. There is little any of us can do but pray for them. God bless the emergency workers and repair workers who will be going to these hard hit areas. 


Saturday, February 6, 2021

Well I'll be.

 Tempus fugit is the story of my life. When I bought my first house, I was pressured to save for the down payment and get moved. It was one of the best things that I did financially but it was not on my time schedule. I've always thought when it comes time for my funeral; it needs to start late. There is never enough time.

This past year I lost my older brother. He was my first teacher of the world around me. I remember the history lesson. We have had two wars. We won the first and lost the second one. We used to play civil war. We had an American flag and a Confederate flag. The person with the flag who ran to the stop sign first won the war. It was about a tenth of a mile and we had not entered school yet. 

I had an easy childhood, adulthood came to me in moments. I remember doing something stupid and I started making excuses to rationalize it and that thought crept over me that why would I make an excuse to myself. 

My brother passed without a will. He had a few typed that I had found. In the end, I was the heir. He and his wife divorced in 2014. He did not have biological children. The state of GA has a hierarchy of heirs and my mother is his heir at 90 years of age. For me this works well in that my three surviving siblings are disabled. My mother does have a will. Although she does not have a King's ransom; she is passing most to me to provide for my disabled siblings. That is what my brother wanted me to do with what he had.

My encounters with the legal system has educated me on what you can or cannot do. My sister with mental illness wants me to create a savings account for her. I would. But I would have to pay a bond and a lawyer to spend that money. Which goes to the conundrums the law creates. It makes it very expensive and a burden to take care of mentally incapacitated people in Georgia. My mother has me on all her bank accounts so I don't have this burden with her funds. It was with a great deal of sadness that I learned I don't have enough money to create a trust for my sister and brother.

I closed out my brother's bank account at a credit union. It took about an hour and a half yesterday. I left my house at 12:30 PM for the appointment at 3:30 PM. The drive should have taken 2 1/2 hours. I walked in at exactly 3:30. 

After my brother passed, I paid a few of his bills. He owed about $530 on a credit card. I wrote a check. The credit union returned the check with a phone number for me to call. I called and the lady told me they would waive the $530 fee and I could close his account when the bank opened up from being closed due to Covid and I had gone through probate. I had filed for probate in April, the court processed my application in September. I had run legal notices in the newspapers in the county my brother lived. 

My mother is 90 and leaving her in the care of my sister is difficult. My sister does a good job. My mother gets panicked about me being gone. But I have decided once a week, I am dealing with my brother's house. Friday was to do the bank account and then stop by his house to get some of his papers. My brother has every bill and bank statement from the 1980s. There is a box with his Vietnam papers which may be every bill from the seventies. I did clean a bit since his house is a 2 1/2 hour drive from mine. It really is a cute house. I looked out the back bedroom window at the slope of the land outside as I took curtains down to wash at my house.

Act I is the legal quagmire of my brother's estate. The credit union had blocked his account for non-payment of the credit card. The gal helping at first wanted me to write a personal check to pay the credit card. (Crazy in that they would not let me pay for it March of 2020.) I agreed but I had to correct her on one point. She said I would be getting the money back from his account. I told her actually I would not be getting the money. The money was written in a check to his estate. 

She scrambled when I made that statement and whoever she was talking to on the phone decided to take it out of his checking and savings account and issued a check which will be good for thirty days. I have got to open a checking account for his estate and get an EIN number from the IRS. So you can guess what I will be doing once I post this blog entry.  

My goal is to write the post on the day before garbage day which is Thursday and have my blog posted Thursday. I put fallen limbs from the Pecan trees in the empty trash cart and haul them up to the house to burn. I'm on a schedule, I hope.

At my brother's funeral, I had this Johnny Paycheck song played.

Tempis Fugit

Time, there is never enough. I remember in college someone told me there was a trick to staying up all night and being rested in the morning...