Monday, January 31, 2011

In the hospital again

We did not know our 86-yr-old houseguest had fallen again because we were watching a loud movie. Our dog got agitated and then we saw our hallway filling up with medical men. I'm glad I forced him to belong to a medical alert company and then wear the red button. He got admitted to the hospital with heart failure. I hope it wasn't the waffles I made him for dinner.
I wonder how much longer we will get to have him live with us. He keeps falling. This makes me sad to think of him moving to some VA facility as my dad goes to assisted living.
Part of the process of cleaning up the property of my dad to sell it is prying up and taking away the rocks I and my sister helped him gather over a lifetime. The rock area around the stone path to the front door of my house is now filling up with agates. Yesterday, the large slates from a cliff near Mt.St. Helens  became a stone patio between two of my rock gardens.

Reading books

I'm reading The Gospel According To Moses    What My Jewish Friends Taught Me About Jesus by Athol Dickson.  I usually race through books, but I want to go through this slowly and meditate on what he is saying, so I'll read a few pages, put it down, and then read People Of The Book by Geraldine Brooks, a novel about an illustrated haggadah that survived centuries through wars and pograms, partly through the heroic efforts of librarians in Sarejavo. Well, I raced through that fascinating book, and shall need to find another interval book. In the People book, the protagonist is shocked to discover that she has a famous Jewish heritage that her mother never told her about. Made me remember how surprised we were to find out that my husband's Polish/German side of the family had been Jewish and totally destroyed in the Holocaust except for the grouchy, atheist grandfather that moved to America because he never wanted to see another war.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Book cover

I was thinking about how it seems that all Christian fiction book covers seem to feature a lady in a hat gazing off into the distance. My oldest son gave me a book cover for the second book of the Shatterworld Trilogy that features a lady in a hat staring at the monster that is about to skewer her.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Moving Dad

Even though it is my sister who is doing all of the work, I am going to bed exhausted and waking up exhausted. I am having so much trouble thinking. It feels like grief.
Dad is recovering well from the surgery that pinned together the bones that broke in his neck, but all of us have agreed that he can't move back home again. Looking and deciding. Looking and deciding. He will move to the beautiful Monticello assisted living into a one bedroom apt. It is near the middle of downtown Longview, so goodbye woods. He told us to sell the house, but my sister wants to rent it out. It is hard to let go of the house he has lived in for sixty years and that the girls lived in until marriage. As adults we played paintball in the woods. We picked grapes and blackberries and apples and tomatoes there.
We began the process of winnowing through his furniture and stuff to figure out what will move in with him. We were surprised that no he did not want his double bed any more, he wanted a twin one. And after spending hours finding the right chair for him because we were not going to let him keep his old, broken recliner, he decided to take Mom's old lifting chair that he had previously rejected. Well, the new chair did cost over two thousand dollars.
Our brother came out from Pennsylvania to help out, but his work only allowed him a long weekend here. It was a joy to spend time with him. He was practically quivering in sadness that he could not be here full time. My sister has two jobs now and dealing full time with this and she still has children at home. I have no idea how she is coping.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My sister

My poor sister. She had to be at the rehabilitation clinic for my father who was choking at 2 a.m. She had to be with him as the ambulance took him to the emergency room. Then she had to get her children off to school. Then she had to go to work. Then she called me 12 hours later. When I reached the hospital, dad was still in the ER and waiting for a bed to be opened before he could be admitted. Goodness, I did not know so many people in Longview were so sick. When I left a few hours later, dad was still there and having difficulty with hallucinations from vicodan. He thought his house had been robbed.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Books Read:

Dreamkeepers  A Spirit-Journey into Aboriginal Australia  by Harvey Arden:  It's a bait and switch book. I was hoping to read about some dream journeys but what happened was the author drove hither and yon meeting with various Aboriginal leaders and none of them would talk about the Dream Time, and he ended up feeling guilty. Well, I should think so. I thought this would be a book about living with the Aborigines for a number of years and entering into their lives. A drive by interview hardly qualifies. So the author wrote about his trip and what the leaders told him instead of Dream Time stories. He showed them his previous book about Native American Indian thought, and the Aborigines enjoyed reading parts of it. But I did not get the feel that he gave to book to anybody as a gift or that he offered to share any profits made from the potential book.  My main impressions from the book are two: How sad that alcohol has so thoroughly destroyed the tribes of Australia as it has in Alaska. People who have a land based religion are screwed when circumstances change.     I wonder what type of religion the first Aborigines had when they moved to Australia. It could not have been land based.

      The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, PhD.    An unsettling look at why some people are so evil.  There was an uncomfortable overlap of sociopath and Asperger's brain deficiencies. But those of us who are not sociopaths but still fall short in the empathy department make do with sympathy, compassion, and love. Some of her advice about how to protect ourselves from sociopaths echoes Gavin de Bakker's (?) book about the gift of fear.

     The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell:  I cannot say WOW! enough about this book. Beautifully written, and the whole time you are following the two story lines of a group of people heading to a disaster and the one survivor maybe going to tell what happened, you are mentally screaming at the turn of every page, "What happened?" That the author knew nothing about the Jesuits before she started writing the book floors me. I thought she was a dyed in the wool Catholic. Her science-fiction alien premise is fascinating. Absolutely fascinating.

      A Wizard In Mind by Christopher Stasheff  was a lot of fun.
     Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman: a cute little story with cute illustrations.
     How to Train Your Dragon book 3 How to Speak Dragonese by Cressida Cowell: hit my funnybone.
      Waifs and Strays by Charles DeLint: I skipped some of the punk fairy stories. I liked the stories with Tetchie and Maisie in them. Beautifully written, of course.

     My husband got halfway through Joel Rosenberg's thriller The Twelfth Imam and quit. He said the man does not know his sports and he could not believe a 6'2" man could have Iranians towering over him. I dunno why not. And he said I write a lot better than Joel. Well, thank you sweetie, but Joel's style is just fine for thrillers. The only person I can think of at this moment who writes literary thrillers is Dean Koontz.