Monday, March 30, 2009

For those who care to read about the economic recession, this is a very interesting article from this week's Time magazine called "The End of Excess: Is This Crisis Good for America?"

pain

I've been thinking a lot about Mom, replaying her last years over in my brain. I know I shouldn't do this but I can't help it. I think about the fact that she was stuck at home all day, alone, while I was at work. She must have been stir crazy. Moving her in with me really isolated her and I feel so bad about that. Some of the pain is starting to surface and it hurts.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I fully intend to maintain a clutter-free environment. I have frequent decluttering sessions only to find within a week's time that the clutter has reappeared, mysteriously. I'm away from home 48 hours a week, yet somehow, I am able to accumulate clutter in the few hours between the time I arrive home from work and the time that I hit the sack. I'm convinced that this stuff reproduces like rabbits, how else can it possibly accumulate? My parents were exact opposites when it came to clutter: Mom was spartan with nary a thing out of place. Dad, on the other hand, was the king of clutter. If he had one of something than you could guarantee that somewhere down the line you would find at least 2 more. Mom was not a collector of things, Dad collected books, tools and electronics. And watches. So you guess I could say I'm like my dad in some ways. I collect shoes. And scrapbook items. And things that are of sentimental value to me. I still haven't opened the boxes which contain Mom's things from CB. I'm not ready for that. It's too soon. I haven't moved into the master bedroom of my house yet, though I've been making strides in that direction. I still think of it as Mom's room. But I'm also ready to move upstairs. That way I'll feel like an adult again. Maybe. Meanwhile, I'm trying to learn how to practice clutter control.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I ordered 3 butterfly bushes yesterday. My sister informed me that these bushes get really, really big so I looked at the description and yes indeed, they grow quite large. The description says to plant them 6-7 feet apart as they grow at least that wide and that tall. Although they are gorgeous and I would love to see the hummingbirds and butterflies that they attract, I think I'm going to have to cancel the order. I live in a townhouse and I'm not sure that the association would accept these large bushes. I'm disappointed.

Spring seems to be more of reality now. It's been sunny and in the 40s and 50s. We even had rain on Friday. The big huge snowpile near the end of my driveway is gone. That doesn't mean that we won't get any more snow, it just means that if we do, it probably won't stick around for very long.

I found Mom's sunglasses today while I was doing laundry. I held them for a while and thought about her.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I have been thinking a lot about the current world economic situation so I started googling. I found an interesting site about the Great Depression that seems to be well researched, with fascinating statistics that just prove to me, as an historian and political scientist, that those who neglect to learn their history are doomed to repeat it. So much of this looks familiar based upon what we are seeing today. Being a student of history, the recent developments in the world economy have frightened me greatly. Check this out and you will see why it was important that the Bush and Obama administrations act quickly to stem the hemorrhaging of the economy. I studied something called laissez faire capitalism pretty extensively in college and I decided that it was not a good basis for an economy. That doesn't mean that I am not a believer in the capitalist system, I am, I just believe that because humans can be greedy (sound familiar based on the last decade's events) there must be some sort of government intervention. I support something called modified market capitalism. I believe that President Obama supports this form of capitalism. This is an interesting essay that I found on Modified Market capitalism.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Now that the low riser steps are gone in the garage I'm so afraid that I'm going to forget and go bounding out the door and fall down the steps! You see, there used to be a huge platform right outside the door that was level with the bottom of the door. Now it's a step down right outside the door. I told my neighbors that if they see the door open and the car in the garage, they should check to make sure I'm not lying on the floor unconscious.

I met one of my neighbors at the mailboxes today, one whom I hadn't seen all winter. She asked me how Mom is. I told her the news. Sarah has a four year old whom Mom adored. Mom loved it when kids would come to visit and Katharine was not exception. It was a sad moment for both of us, and suddenly I missed Mom so very much. It was one of the moments that you who've lost loved ones know all too well. I've been trying so hard to remain positive and upbeat and so far I've been pretty successful. But sometimes my grief just washes over me like a tidal wave. My mantra is one day at a time.

I've been keeping myself distracted with my new iPhone. I love it! It's become a little addictive though and I have to stop using it all the time. It is awfully nice to have everything I need in one small device. I can listen to music, make phone calls, play games and keep up with my Facebook friends. I've even installed the free Amazon Kindle software and surprisingly the preview book I downloaded is easy to read. It's one more great feature that I will use extensively. I thought about purchasing a Kindle, even placed the order, but then a friend convinced me to get an iPhone and I'm so glad that I did. I canceled my Kindle order and instead upgraded my cell phone to the iPhone. There are tens of thousands of apps available for free or a nominal fee (usually less than six bucks). Some of the apps I have include a white noise generator (which is great to use at work when I need to concentrate), a sudoku game and an app called Yelp that pinpoints your location and lists restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations or whatever you need that are in your vicinity. There are recommendations from fellow Yelp users too. It makes me want to download the developer's toolkit and come up with an idea for a new app!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Today I came home to an empty garage. The low riser steps that we had had built for Mom were gone. I donated them to the Minnesota Center for Independent Living. Today they came and disassembled them. Strangely enough (or maybe not so strange) this made me very sad. It was like losing another piece of Mom. I wasn't expecting this to happen so quickly. I got a call at work this morning telling me that they wanted to come out today and remove the structure. I didn't even have time to clean off the platform, they did that. They even put the old railings up that had been on either side of the existing steps. I was quite pleased with a job well done.

Today it is 65F and people are out walking in my neighborhood. It's a welcome sight. The huge snow pile near my driveway melted away today. Mom would have loved today, she and I always looked forward to the first truly warm day of the year. I miss sharing that with her.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yesterday I met with the funeral planner that we used for Mom's memorial service. They gave me a free photograph of Mom with a poem, suitable for framing. While there, I ended up planning for my own demise. That was creepy. I wasn't expecting that. But, like a boy scout, I'm prepared. No money passed between us though.

It's snowing tonight. A cold front is coming through and by morning the temperature is expected to be in the single digits above zero. Ah Minnesota, so exhilarating. You've gotta love it. Unfortunately I am so over winter and ready for spring in a big way.

The story of Verne Gagne continues. I realize that the incident must be investigated because of the involvement of vulnerable adults. But just because he is famous he and his family are being dragged through the media. It's so wrong. I'm heartbroken for all involved, especially the family of Helmut Guttman.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Today I thought about Mom a lot. I'm not sure why, I think it's just one of those things. I sure do miss her. I wish she could answer me when I talk to her. I'd really like to hear some of her wisdom. Even if it's only her telling me to buck up. I'd be OK with that.

I'm also feeling out of sorts due to the switch to Daylight Savings Time. This earlier switch really stinks. I was just getting used to having daylight in the morning when I head to work and bam! now it's back to darkness. Does it really save energy?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sign of the Times

The other day I had a message at home from one of the clothing stores at the mall where I shop. They were calling to tell me that they are having a sale this weekend. Things have to be tough for them to call to tell me about a sale. I hope this particular store doesn't close, I really like shopping there.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A coworker of mine has been very sad lately. I could tell something was up and without trying to pry, I told her that if she needed to talk, I was available. She told me they had just learned that her husband has non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He's 30 years old. They have an adorable little boy who turns 1 this month. My heart goes out to this young family and I've been including them in my prayers. She told me that she went to learn about life insurance for her husband and the insurance agent, not knowing her situation, told her she was still young enough that if anything happened to her husband she would most likely remarry. This broke her heart; she can't imagine this. I feel so sad for her. It just goes to show that everyone has their cross to bear.

I think about Mom everyday and I catch myself trying to remember to tell her things that she would find funny or enjoy. Then I remember that she's gone and I tell her anyway. I still haven't brought myself to go through her things; that will keep, I'm in no hurry. I would like to move my things into the master bedroom soon. Soon. It's still hard to believe she's gone from my sight.