The Update

I live in Ashland, in southern Oregon. Events drove me east, to where Mom and several sisters reside in the Pittsburgh, PA area. On Friday, September 10, I took the redeye to Pittsburgh. Already down with COVID, Mom suffered a perforated appendix and also had COVID pneumonia, and was in Forbes Hospital, demanding morphine and fighting against being intubated. They moved her to a step down unit for more intensive monitoring and care, and was in isolation. Masks, gloves, and gowns were required to visit her, only two visitors at a time.

She’s recovered a lot since then. With antibiotics and treatment, her COVID subsided. The appendix perforation closed. Her pacemaker had only been working at less than 20%, so that was also a problem, as was a blood clot. The blood clot ended up in her spleen, which they said was okay, and her heart and pacemaker both increased to 50 % function. Pleased with her progress, she was discharged from the hospital last Monday and moved to a nursing home.

She liked the nursing home, Concordia. Physical therapy began. They told her she’d probably be there two to six weeks. That was pared down to two yesterday.

They released her today.

That surprised me. Apparently what precipitated it was a night of hell for her. Hearing about it, my sisters grew angry and charged down there.

You do not want to be in their way when my sisters are angry, especially if their family is involved. Move out of their way and in front of an oncoming bullet train. You’ll be safer.

Mom’s NoH included being abruptly taken off oxygen at midnight and not monitored. The night nurse had an attitude for whatever reason. She didn’t want to help Mom with her CPAC for sleeping and threw Mom’s phone on the floor. Mom’s door was open all night as another patient roamed the halls shouting, “I have a gun. I’m going to come in there and kill you.”

I’ve been staying at Mom’s house with her 92-year-old boyfriend, Frank, a great guy, but very passive, and under Mom’s control. Mom is 85. Her house was built eighty years ago. The steps are narrow and steep. It’s not built for a frail woman to get around and recover.

But this is why I’m here. I came here because it might’ve been time to say good-bye to Mom. I came here to give my sisters and Frank relief and support. Now I’ll be here to help give Mom care in her home. I don’t know what train of circumstances and logic led to the surprising decision that she’s being released today. It sounds like a crazy train, in my uninformed thinking. It’s a fluid situation. The sisters are racing back to the nursery home to learn more and, as necessary, help Mom get home. Per their thinking, I’m here, waiting for Mom to arrive in case my sisters don’t arrive in time.

Coffee is on. I think we’ll need a few cups. Here we go.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Center stage was the sun’s at 7:05 AM in Pittsburgh, and she used it to full, rousing effect.

Today is called September 20, 2022. I awoke thinking about dreams and then shifted to news, feeling concerns about all the storms hitting. Japan. Alaska. Puerto Rico. How are things there? Is help on the way. Politics are a little suspended as I wait for pieces of information to be released, and wait for mid-terms. Wait. Read. Listen. Think. Wait.

I feel like I’m on a low boil here in PA as the stout sunshine finds my skin. 19 C again, high of 77 F expected before the sun’s curtain falls at 7:21 PM. Clouds lurk and plot, meeting and muttering with one another, but the sun owns the stage in my zone.

Since it’s Tuesday, The Neurons have planted “Tuesday’s Gone” by Lynyrd Skynyrd in the morning mental music stream. First heard it when it was released in 1973 and I was a high school junior at Shady Spring High School. The song strikes deep chords in me, sealing another longing fit for what was and what never came to be. ‘Tis always been that way.

So, you know, have some coffee and enjoy Tuesday before it’s gone. Stay pos, test neg. Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

The bers landed early this morning, while most of us pursued sleep. First of these is September, harbinger of seasonal changes and falling leaves in much of the northern half of our planet. South of zero, spring is shaping up.

It’s Thursday the First, 2022. Long may she rule, but it’ll likely be just twenty-four hours. We have another hot flash with poor air in store for us in my valley. Probably a 99 F high. Our air is purple on the chart, with a reading of 187 attached to it and a warning not to prolong your time outside. It’s 21 C right now, which would normally be pleasant, but this smoke is trapping the heat. Can you say stifling?

With all this, sunrise was surprisingly clear and pleasant at 6:36 AM, the sort of rising sun that makes you smile in appreciation of life and the world. Night’s duties commence at 7:45 PM. Last night’s sunset was a hot furnance red display. The biggest difference about the dwindling daylight hours with its later sunrise and earlier sunset is that it’s a more abrupt transition. Whereas in May through July, it’s quite light before the dawn and stayed light a bit after sunset, darkness more frequently prevails in those hours.

The smoke has not given the sun protection that I thought, only shaving off one degree from the high temps of the last several days. Two fires are spooning this smoky flow into us, one in California, and Oregon’s Rum Creek fire, less than an hour away on I-5.

The Neurons are enthusiastic about “Pumped Up Kicks” this morning. They’re not forthcoming about their reasoning. I suspect it’s a byproduct of reading the news. PUK by Foster the People was released in 2010. It’s a dark song against a pop beat about a human with a gun shooting others for the fun, because of how it makes them feel.

An unusual song. Stay positive and test negy, and do what you can. I will do the same as soon as sufficient coffee is imbibed to satisfy The Neurons. Here is la song. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

You ever think about changing your calendar? I wonder how it would affect us if on each New Year, our first day was 365 (366 for a leap year). Then the days count down, like a Julian calendar in reverse. Today, instead of August 26, 2022, it would be something like Friday, 128, 2022. Then you’d think, oh my goodness there’s only 127 days left to this year. Your conversations would be interesting as people suggesting having a celebration on the 120, and you reply, “Is that a Friday?”

Today’s particulars aren’t notably different from yesterday. When I awoke a few hours ago, the temp. was 61 F. We’re up to 20 C now. Sunset is expected at 7:55 PM after a sunrise of 6:30 AM. Our high will be about 93 F. No clouds in the sky, and it’s blue. Air Quality is 2, so pretty darn good. On the news front, the GOP has shifted targets from the DOJ and are no longer chanting about defunding the FBI. Now they want to defund the IRS. Their cycle, from the false statements of the former GOP POTUS to their continual insistence that the 2020 POTUS election was stolen to some who lost claiming they won (yes, I’m commenting on you, Laura Loomer), to verbal attacks on different government departments seems to be about sowing discord, distrust, and confusion, which destabilizes our government, polarizes our politics, and disrupts our society. So no changes in the news, other than, oh, yeah, flooding, fires, droughts, baseball, football, and other sports. But yea, people cry, Lake Mead’s water level is no longer falling. We’re saved!

From reading news and reflection on my dreams and daily activities and routines, The Neurons feted me with John Lennon, “Watching the Wheels” from 1981. Do you remember when he was gunned down? I surely do. Anyway, The Neurons have “I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round, I really love to watch them roll,” repeatedly playing in the morning mental music stream. That’s how my mood is, to some degree. Moods, like so many things, are a spectrum, so I’ll be sliding along to something else sometime, and then probably back again, and off again, and so on.

Yes, I have my coffee already, and I’ve eaten brekkie — waffles today. Now I’m contemplating the cats washing themselves and contemplating their fur, ears moving as a car passes, a bird breaks cover and tweets, caws, or screeches, pausing as a far dog barks and a prop plane drones closer. Stay positive and test negative and so forth. Here’s the music. Sing along if you will. Cheers

Saturday’s Wandering Thought

He read about the droughts in England, Italy, and France. Fires in France rage. Italy’s Po River is drying up. Meanwhile, toxic chemical waste in the Oder River in Poland and France is causing a huge fish die off. Drought has caused the River Thames source to move East.

Parts of Australia are suffering drought and low precipitation. A record heatwave in July baked the US. Wildfires burn in the US, including Hawaii, as fifty percent of the country experiences drought. America’s west is suffering from a record megadrought. Record floods caused massive damage in Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. The Colorado River is drying up. Lake Mead is at its lowest level since 1937. Lake Powell is dropping to deadpool status, where the water level will be too low for water to flow from the dam. Flooding in Kentucky and West Virginia caused death and substantial damage. Investors are scrambling to exploit the exposed earth as glaciers melt and recede.

World food prices are going up as crops dry up and wither, weather disasters strike, and harvests shrink.

Reading all this news, he thought of Billy Joel’s 1989 song, “We Didn’t Start the Fire”. In Billy Joel’s song, they were at least trying to fight it. Too many now seem to be fighting against fighting it.

Worth Repeating

In other news, those high gas prices — you know, the ones that everyone says President Biden caused — are killing the fossil fuel companies.

That’s snark, ya know.

$2,245.62 a second: ExxonMobil scores enormous profit on record gas prices

Corporations will be corporations. They’re formed to make money, no matter what the fuck is going on around them. We need some kind of governor for their greed.

Of course, this is CNN reporting what they ‘claimed’ the companies reported, so it’s probably fake news, right?

Right.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

The rumor of a breeze circulated at ten o’clock last night. The temperature had plummeted to 91 F by then, still a little warm for opening the doors and windows to cool the house. Although we have central A/C, I dislike its effects on my sinuses, environment, and energy bill, and avoid using it as much as possible. I really wanted to open the doors and such, and it was hard to hear the insects and bugs’ tiny rapping and requests to come in and escape the heat. I eventually yielded at eleven, when it was 81 outside and 86 in the house. The air, still warm, barely stirred.

A few clouds and haze mar the sky’s true color today. This Wednesday, the final of July, 2022, the 27, for those seeking more, will reach 104 they say. We officially reached only 100 in Ashland yesterday, although my house said it was 103.5 as the high experienced. Sunset will be at 8:36 PM. Sunrise today was at 5:59 AM. It might be the last time for a sunrise before six in the morning, unless it happens again when we ‘fall back’ with the clock later this year.

“Janie’s Got A Gun” by Aerosmith (1989) inhabits the morning mental music stream. The song is about parents and others raping, abusing, and molesting children and Janie getting a gun to stop it. Rape was removed from the radio version. And yeah, it came up as a song as I read more sickening news of the world. Not going into it any further. Many people frequently promote an idea for using a gun to shoot and kill people with state permission as soon as their crime is discovered. I’m not for that for many reasons, among them being an orderly and intelligent system of justice. I know it fails often but throwing it out isn’t a solution; its shortcomings need to be addressed and fixed. That’s difficult in today’s political environment but I stand by the belief.

Stay positive and test negative. Wear masks and get vaxes as needed. Good luck and stay safe. Coffee? Why, thank you, I think I will.

Cheers

Monday’s Wandering Thought

He read the news article about a man stealing from people during an overnight flight. One woman had 10,000 USD and 13,000 Argentinian pesos stolen from her. He and his wife were shocked that she’d be carrying that much currency and that someone was able to steal it from her. As his wife said, “If I had that much on me on an aircraft, I wouldn’t be sleeping, and I’d probably be sitting on my purse.”

Sunday’s Theme Music

Yesterday, Saturday, July 2, offered us heavy rain, thunder, and lightning. We don’t experience a lot of this in Ashland. As my partner commented, we usually receive a rain like this at the end of July. We do get ‘dry’ thunderstorms, where the clouds pile up over the mountains and then roll across the valley, darkening the sky and dropping the temperature before singing their bass throat music. Far lightning came sometimes be seen. It was all different yesterday, the once-a-year storm that we typically experience.

Today is Sunday, July 3, 2022. It’s cool, just 10 C now, with predictions and forecasts that we’ll reach the upper to mid 70s F. Clouds have blanked the sunshine and blue sky. Mists cuddle up to the tree line on the mountains. The air smells of wet grass, dirt, and bark.

Sunrise was at 5:39 AM. The sun will do its disappearing act about 8:51 PM. Again. That sunset time hasn’t changed since before the solstice.

I went out and listened to the rain, alone, enjoying the smell and sound. Drops hurled down, dashing off the pavement, an unsynchronized drumline in a private public performance. Thunder erratically punctuated moments. As it faded, I enjoyed the silence. No cars, birds, cats, or people. Nothing but me and the storm as it carried its show north and away. The silence was a balm for the day, and I thought, I hope nothing breaks this silence. Just let me have this for a little longer.

Well, The Neurons said, “We know that song.” I replied, “What song?”

They responded with “Don’t Answer Me” by the Alan Parsons Project from 1984. I don’t recall when I’d last heard it. Lines in the song go, “Don’t answer me, don’t break the silence, don’t let me win. Don’t answer me, stay on your island, don’t let me in.” Oh, how The Neurons love playing these word association music games. I think they might be a little compulsive-obsessive about it.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as and when needed and get the boosters as, when, and if you’re able. Time for a morning jolt, you know what I’m saying? Here’s the music. Cheers

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