April 8, 2018

Springin' In 2018

This is my third weekend in a row off from mama duty. Middlesis came in from Minnesota to see the mama's precipitous cognitive decline in person, and to take her to see her primary and get him to put her back on one of her drugs. All of those things happened. Slightly fewer texts needed tending to, and I am very grateful for the respite.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, there was a break in the rain. Don't get me wrong -- I have been full of joy about rain, and its ability to dissolve rabbit pellets into fertilizer for my plants. But the sun after the rain has left things gorgeous and me a bit giddy. Every year I say I'm going to pull over and take a picture of this house down the street that has a stupendous amount of iceplant in the front yard. Yesterday I did it:

And then I found that the orchid in the front yard has 7 spikes on it so I brought some in for us to enjoy and for mrguy to take to his ailing mama tomorrow:

And the things that I thought were going to be Naked Ladies turned out to be some sort of bluebell, and they're making an impression under the Echium, which is also blooming:

A little less exciting the the casual observer is my cactus collection in the breezeway. I gave Grandpa a haircut two weeks ago, in hopes of plumping him up over time:

Over the past few years I have been able to plump up the half dead cactus I rescued from Max and Bernice's estate sale years ago. Looking juicy!
Continuing the cactus report, my Easter Cactus, above, is starting to put out little buds that will eventually be fluffy magenta flowers. This is the cactus that was most in need of love five years ago when I first got it. And the one that's the most satisfying.

And wrapping it all up is the best news of all -- we have the beginnings of a single lime on our tree. When we moved here in 2013 our lime bush was a very tiny thing, and about a foot and half tall. Every time it started to produce a lime, The Cloven One came to eat it. My decorative Thompson's Gazelles did nothing to dissuade the deer. Finally mrguy surrounded the bush with chicken wire, and it is now seven feet tall. Mr Yuki pruned it into a single trunk, and now it's finally producing flowers  that are higher than deer-level. That's the key around here. The lemon tree has about 100 lemons on it, because it's taller than a deer. I've learned to love using lime leaf in recipes, but this year I'm hoping for a lime we can call our own.

March 24, 2018

I Take It Back

And I'm beat. After three sleepovers, an ER visit, two doctors' visits and 3 falls (Mom's, not mine) I was ready for some help.

My brother and his wife have taken pity on me and are coming down for two weekends as we figure out how to staff permanent nighttime caregiving. They are truly some of God's good people.

So today I did fun stuff. Got back into my quest for Irish citizenship, pruned some bushes and acquired a new skill: separating rabbit pellets from hay. It's all in the wrist, really. Then I stuffed rabbit poop into some old socks, turning them into rabbit manure tea bags. They are currently soaking in a bucket, making me rabbit manure tea to fertilize my plants with. Yay!

You know I really undersold the rabbit store experience in my previous post. It was...surreal. The rabbit store we went to is run by folks who have a repeating ad on Craigslist that features a Natalie Dee cartoon. Because of this, I expected the Rabbit People to be of good cheer. But that would not be the case. 

Last Saturday, when we got to Rabbit People, Mrguy and I were on a high because we'd just finished scoring our second brick of Amul water buffalo and cow's milk butter at the Himalayan market. So we go next door to Rabbit People, whose ad says that they have large bags of rabbit cage sweepings on the sidewalk, free for the taking. They don't, so we walk inside to ask. The place is a small and very dark warehouse. On the left side as you walk in is some random stuff that is either for sale or the Rabbit People live on that side of the room. Hard to tell. On the right is some strange scene where a bunch of people are under a task lamp, examining a rabbit that's on its back in someone's lap. The people are intently trimming the rabbit's claws or performing a Satanic ritual. Again, hard to tell. The very normal looking girl (there's always one, right?) asks us if she can help us. We want to have our gaze directed away from the activity on the right because when we walked in it felt like everything in that place stopped. Like the time that a group of us went to a place called the Church of the Mother Goddess because one of our friends wanted to find a place where she could worship a female deity (hey, it was 1980). And I tagged along. And they told us that their service would be starting in a little while and we could wait in the room with the altar and all the disturbing art (OK, that's not what they told us but what actually happened) and they kept checking in on us and fervently wishing for us to go away, which we eventually did.

It was just. like. that. So I use my friendliest voice to let her know that I'd like to acquire some rabbit poop. She tells us we can take as much as we want, so we do. And we leave. Whew. We have a big old bag full of Satanic ritual rabbit manure and I hope it doesn't kill me or the plants.


March 17, 2018

Mama's World

I will always treasure these last few years with my mom, but there are days when you just want some time to yourself. Like most of this week!

Bigsis came down earlier this week to attend a doctor appointment with the mama. The doctor ended up sending them to the ER. So I left work, met them there and spent 6.5 hours with my people and a bunch of other people. The downside is that I wish the mama were in better health and the upside is that there's always some sort of crazy stuff at the ER you wouldn't get to see otherwise.

Like our friend! In the waiting room he and his buddy were talking, and because there are zero secrets in the ER, we were listening to: "Yeah. I just hope it's not HIV. I know people live with it now, but that's just what I'm hoping." Later on, the same guy was sharing a room with us. Trump had just fired Rex Tillerson via tweet, and we were telling this to Mom while waiting for test results. I was cracking wise about it and I could hear that the guy on the other side of the curtain got every one of my jokes and wasn't a Trump supporter. I ventured over to his side and showed off my Obama tribute tattoo, and had some pleasure in telling him loudly that my mom doesn't know about it.

After an hour or so he got his diagnosis (Hep C) and then two things happened: an overwhelming aroma of McDonalds filled our room, and he used the "Phone A Friend" option. "Yeah. They stuck a big f-ing Q-tip up my nose, almost all the way to my brain." "It's Hep C." "Yeah, I use 'em sometimes." "Nah, I don't do THAT!" I guess he was learning the possible ways in which his situation could have arisen.

Yesterday I spent some time with Mom and her caregiver at her followup appointment. She likes the doctor, so she's really relaxed in the waiting room (i.e. sleeping while fiddling with a Ricola wrapper) in this photo. Then I dashed back to work and put some extra time to make up for it. But yay! It's Friday.

This morning I woke up all excited because a) no work and b) no mama. These beauties were sleeping on the bed when I woke up:

Then mrguy and I drank coffee in our jammies and did genealogy research. Then we went to the place we call Food Of Gold to buy chicken, then the Indian grocery for other ingredients for an Instant Pot chicken biryani, then Himalayan grocery because we've always wanted to go there, and then the rabbit store, because it's next to the Himalayan store and they have free manure. Then just one more grocery for some regular stuff, and then home.

Two different places on our route had my favorite butter, the butter that all the stores have been out of since Christmas.
So finding the butter in two places is the clearest indicator that this was my day. We did more sleuthing, mrguy made the biryani, I made chili for Sunday lunch with the mama and then the phone rings. Boo! Mom's bitten it at her apartment and they're sending the ambulance. But I talk to the paramedics after a while and they're sure it's all cool (aside from one of those nasty scrapes that only old people can get).

And that's why I'm here sleeping in my mom's guest bedroom tonight. I wanted to come tuck her in and make sure she was ok. I regret being snatched from my cozy nest, and I could easily feel disgruntled, but when I come through the door and see my beautiful, delicious, exasperating, hilarious mama, that all goes away.

Night, mom!
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