where’s millie?

Usually, my mother remembers things from long ago, but we have occasional lapses.

decor-2483214_1280A couple of weeks ago, my mother’s first words of the day were, “Where’s Millie?” and I froze. Millie is my mother’s younger sister who died about 42 years ago. She didn’t remember that Millie had died of a brain tumor. I think she realized that forgetting this particular piece of information was a bit unusual for her, as she was rather quiet when I told her. For the next 20 minutes or so, until I left for work, I heard her quietly say several times that she couldn’t believe that she didn’t remember.  Continue reading “where’s millie?”

yikes … my vet bill is how much?

Like people, as animals age there seem to be more medical bills … and more discomfort about linking care and costs.

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I adore Oscar. We have been together for almost 15 years and I cannot imagine life without him. Yet, in the past six months, he has been a rather expensive fellow. He has bad teeth – always has had – and needs to have his teeth cleaned … again. For anyone with animals, you know this is outrageously expensive and I have shelled out the cash every couple of years to have his teeth cleaned.  Continue reading “yikes … my vet bill is how much?”

death and memory loss

Since moving down 22 months ago, two of Mom’s friends have died ….

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Last year, my mother lost one of her best friends. It was tremendously sad for all of us, as Ginny was a wonderfully energetic woman who shuttled my mother to the doctor’s office, the grocery store, the library and anywhere else Mom needed to go. Ginny was 73 years old and, though she had been sick for a couple of months, her death was a shock. She was always busy with family, crafts, the Church, social organizations and friends, particularly my mother. She always made time for her and went out of her way to make sure Mom was safe and sound. I don’t know what we would have done without her.  Continue reading “death and memory loss”

on being a cat … living the life of Oscar

He lives a life I can only dream of …

Oscar was found wandering the streets of Pittsburgh more than 14 years ago. Somehow, he ended up on his own. His long, beautiful cream-colored fur was matted and dirty. He couldn’t hunt or hold his own in a fight, in part because he had been declawed. He had fleas and worms. Lori, with whom I work, is a cat lover and had been watching him for a few days, trying to find a way to grab him.  Continue reading “on being a cat … living the life of Oscar”

surprise! let’s renovate the kitchen

The best laid plans … often go awry … or at least are rescheduled.

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I had a plan: undertake a big project in my apartment every other year. It would take forever, but that timeline would allow me to pay off one project and save up for the next. First it was replacing the carpeting and the heating and air conditioning system (year 1), then replacing the kitchen appliances (year 3), then repainting the living room and bedroom (year 5) and then replacing the windows (year 7). The full bathroom was set to be next in year 9 (2013), but there were other things that needed to be done – replacing my laptop and some furniture. So the full bathroom renovation was set for 2015, with the floors scheduled for 2017, the kitchen in 2019, the half bath and new doors (and maybe the walk-in closet) in 2021. Just as we were ready to begin tearing out bathroom tile, my mother announced her plan to move in with me.  Continue reading “surprise! let’s renovate the kitchen”

making work, well, work

It is important to listen to those who want to help and to yourself …

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For me, work has always been a place where I could combine multiple skills and bring a measure of creativity to create something new – something that informs. I managed projects and teams, interfaced with clients and stakeholders, and made decisions about what to prioritize and how to accomplish our goals. Whether in academia, the nonprofit world or NGOs, my work was a major component of who I was as a person. Even when there were ups and downs, it was like home … a mind-space were I felt strong and safe and alive.  Continue reading “making work, well, work”

laying in supplies

The lure of delivery is hard to ignore and has become a stress-reducing addition to my routine.

balloon-1345015_1280It’s 7:00 on Saturday morning and I’m waiting in a chilly, dark apartment for my groceries to be delivered sometime in the next two hours. On one hand, it is a bit ridiculous, but on the other hand, it is incredibly convenient.  Continue reading “laying in supplies”