Saturday, August 15, 2009

Insomnia....What a Bitch

What is it with insomnia?  All I know is that it tends to run in my family - on the female side of the family.   We could motor along all day, get bone tired, but as soon as we're prone in the bed, BAM, we're wide awake.  I just don't get it.   I had a quiet Friday night,  hadn't been feeling too well, so I was looking forward to watching some bad TV - yes, I wanted to watch "17 Again" without my 15 year old making fun of my cougarish crush on Zac Efron (it's a car crash, what can I say?).  I snuggled onto the couch with a comfy pillow and a cozy throw, cougared to my hearts content and felt good and sleepy by the end of the flick.   I made my way up to my bedroom:

  • Extremely comfy bed with crisp pink sheets and soft white coverlet - CHECK
  • Neck pillow that looks weird, but keeps me from waking up with a crick in my neck - CHECK
  • Icky new age music that is guaranteed to knock me out - CHECK
  • Small furry cat that does the happy dance whenever he thinks I'm going up to bed now - CHECK
  • Ceiling fan on to make lovely cool breeze over me - CHECK
  • Two "simply sleep" caps to act as a sledgehammer to one's head - CHECK

Outcome?  Two hours of tossing and turning that was so bad that the cat was swatting me to keep still.  I gave up, went downstairs, tried to reenact the cozy couch snuggle - no good.  I felt "dry".  I got up, applied body oil to my entire body and tried again. No dice.  Walked around the house and cried a little - all that did was make me feel stupid, so I found "Immortal Beloved" on ON Demand and watched that...I think Beethoven did the trick because, then, as the light began to peek between the blinds on my sunroom, I drifted off...only to be woken up by some religious zealot knocking on the door wanting to save me at 9:30AM.  Swinging open the door, snarling and  looking like the ugly Medusa sister -  she reeled back, scattering fire and brimstone pamphlets all over my front porch and took off muttering what had to be some either sort of prayer or some sort of curse about why SHE was the one to get all the wackos..... I trudged off to inject caffeine (okay, make a pot of French Press) and try to get started on what is already a waste of a day. I know that come three o'clock in the afternoon I'll drop like a stone and repeat said incident minus Zac Efron and crazy religious zealot (or maybe she'll come back with reinforcements).... Insomnia....what a bitch. 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

I helped to stimulate the economy, support artists and local artisans and Meryl Streep, not that she needs it from me.    Saturday, R and I wandered through the Collingswood Arts Festival.  We bought some soaps and essential oils, some great photographs, including this one by Dan Westfall:


Apennine mountain god, Florence Italy

I also bought R some stuff by Ann-Made Art who makes recycled jewelry - a portion of the sale goes to The Alliance For Climate Protection. She got:


and a really cute necklace that unfortunately is not on the website. 

After a quick dinner at home, we went to the movies to see Julie/Julia.   Meryl was simply fantastic.  She chewed the scenery unmercifully, but it was perfect for the part.  R and I laughed out loud through most of it..if she doesn't get a nomination, there is no justice in Hollywood. 

On Sunday, the kids were sick of me (after breakfast at the diner), so I took off for the Garden State Wine Growers Association's Jersey Fresh wine festival - over 20 vineyards and good food.  I talked with my old boss at Amalthea Cellars (I had taken a sabbatical) about going back on a reduced schedule so that I can balance everything.   I forgot how much I missed pouring tastings for customers and doing food pairings.  It was 92 degrees and humid as made for everyone to be slightly loopy and happy...happy enough to buy a case of wine that I didn't need! *lol*

I crashed like a  rock Sunday night..needless to say.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Signs of Life.....

I haven't shut down the blog.  Life just got too overwhelming - rather one life going away got too overwhelming and posting became secondary.   My mom passed away.  She had been declining for some time and yes, there were times when we all wished it would just happen THEN and THERE, but when the time came - she made the decision and went out on her own terms.  My mom was a fighter - anyone who knew her could attest to that.  She took all the considerable crap life through at her and managed through.  She would drive her daughters crazy with her narcissistic side (because she could), but to everyone else, she was life itself, warm, caring, thoughtful and funny....the thoughtful and funny she showed to us many, many times.  Because of her, I became a much stronger woman than she thought she was.  Because of her, my daughter is a confident, lovely, well spoken and caring young woman, because to my mom, she was the sun and moon and stars. 

When it was apparent that Mom was not going pull through this latest bout (broken pelvis and another stroke - girls, take your calcium, I have seen what osteoporosis can do to a woman), the thought of having no control over her body was enough.  My mother made the decision to stop her dialysis and let nature take its course.  That was the hardest thing  to watch and yet it was the most courageous thing I had ever seen.  She looked up and said, "I'm not a chicken, I'm not a chicken" to which the nurse sitting with her began to cry and told her that she was the bravest person on that floor (ICU), she was one of the bravest women she had every met.  My mom had that effect on people.  

During Mom's stay at hospice, the staff was wonderful, they loved her, and most importantly, friends and family, some of whom she had not seen in 10 years came to see her - she was surrounded by love and she died peacefully, and in my arms.

When it came time for the service - Mom requested no service and a simple cremation.  We could not obey the no service part. We knew that she requested that because she thought no one would care enough to come.  She was wrong.  People came and it was a celebration of her life and her love for everyone in that room.  We told stories and laughed and cried.  It was beautiful.  Back at the house, people stayed and stayed.  We all knew there was something special there...and no one was quite ready to let her go.

In the month since that time, we've slowly been distributing her things to people who needed them, she would have wanted it that way.  Everyone was so wonderful and appreciative and I can never thank anyone enough - it brought a distant family back together. I can never thank her enough for what see gave me.  I love you, Mom. I never said it enough, but I will say it more now and continue to say it for the rest of my life.

 Mom and Rachel

Mom and Rachel at Mom's 80th Birthday Party


More regular posts to follow...I promise - for anyone who is still reading this blog....