*TURKEY SOUP… below, the continuing saga of my caregiving days from the archive, because instead of writing yesterday, I made turkey soup and turkey salad, and dang they’re good… 

March 30, 2010 Flat Tires and Other Irritants 

Yes, it happened again, I got a flat. I have these swanky German tires and rims (is that what they’re called??) and a general ignorance of things car (I should be checking my tire pressure regularly – as if!!!) and so yes, once again I rode on a flat until even I had to acknowledge there was something wrong. As I was on my way to my FWB’s house this was not a tragic occurrence; he loves performing manly tasks and set to almost immediately. Was it wrong to have chortled, to myself, of course, when he was unable to get the danged tire off the car? Not at all……but when a nearby friend with a t-bar and breaker bar (previously unknown technical terms I picked up last night) came by and was also unable to get the tire off you could say I was hoist with my own chortle. Sigh.
Finally we surrendered and AAA was called. They sent a very nice gentleman from Hancock, N.Y., who arrived at approx. 11:30p.m. not surprising as Hancock is at least 50 miles away, and who was able to put the spare on and make me ready for my day today. Phew! I stood by looking decorative throughout, drinking my wine and mulling over my general good fortune and the ability to spare myself any hard work that might, horror of horrors, break one of my flashily painted nails. I’m going through a spring girlie-girl phase, and am enjoying it very much, thank you for asking. 
But darn it because of this I had to spend the morning, and a good chunk of cold hard cash, at a local tire service, a place chock full of manly men I honestly enjoy chatting up even in less than stellar circumstances. But, yeah, right, my a.m. routine got blown: writing, a long-ish slow breakfast, weights, walking or running a minimum of 35 minutes, and missing all that makes me a wee bit grouchy. And tomorrow in the early morning, take off time 8a.m., I must get my papa back to Albany Med where he will undergo more tests – stress and echo-cardiogram (did you know they can do stress tests with chemicals? I didn’t. Am I alone in being a bit creeped out by this?) – and so I think I will try to get out of bed by 5:30 and get my exercise and journal writing in so as to avoid more grouchiness. And my pot of tea, so necessary. 
My father seems to be making the necessary adjustments to using his oxygen. I’d like to credit myself for scaring the crap out of him by saying, “If you are not going to use the O2 and your nebulizer as instructed, we should get your affairs in order,” but I think being seriously short of breath on more than one occasion this week may have done the trick. We can only hope so. 
I’m feeling grouchy. Pout, pout, pout. And I’m hungry, waaaaaaaaa. Nothing edible is available in the rural hamlet I work in as the local librarian on Tuesdays, and unless I raid the larder in a local home or call and beg for grub from a very well-placed and generous feeling patron, which I just can’t do (it simply isn’t done!), I’m stuck. Arg. Flat tires stink. My next car is going to have the most boring tires and rims ever known to man!

March 31, 2010 Oy Vey!

Hello again. Life is good, although I am still running an energy deficit from Monday into Tuesday’s tire debacle. I did, however, just notice that there is no school this Friday and that means no rehearsal for the play I am directing, which blessedly means no teenagers from 7:30 p.m. Thursday until 5:00p.m. Monday night: there is a God!! When I am running an energy deficit I find adolescents very trying. They are like blood sucking vampires and, regards anything but themselves and their high octane lives (and accompanying drama-rama), rather indifferent to the rest of the planet including their long-suffering director. 
Gosh, talking about a drama-rama and drama queens, I definitely sound like one…..when I am running a deficit of energy I tend toward the over-dramatic. At such times I also find it hard to deal with my sisters, especially when the sister in question is being hostile. This morning I drove my papa to Niskyuna (a ‘burb of Schenectady, N.Y.), my younger sister’s home, as he is having a stress test and echo-cardiogram this afternoon at Albany Med. He insisted on not taking his oxygen along and added that he was not to have any nebulizer treatments until after the testing. Okay, fine, it’s your life although yes, tbh, I did have some concerns about him corpsing up in the car on the way there…several times nudging him to make sure he was breathing, period, only to find he was merely sleeping…. 
Upon arrival I was met at the door by my most excellent younger sister who is a nurse and mother of four (or should I rather have said that she is a wife and mother of four who happens also to be a nurse…you decide…) There was a frisson of tension in the air (what TF did I do, I just fucking got here!?) and after making sure my dad was in the house I got ready to make my goodbyes, “You didn’t insist on his bringing his oxygen?!”, “No, I did not; I am not in the business of holding a gun to his head.” I could have added, and did when describing the scene to my brother, “Call me if he dies and I need to pick up the corpse but please don’t let it get cold or I won’t be able to get him in my car…”. I’m a sentimental fool, aren’t I? I love my dad and yes, my sister was right when she said his going without oxygen is not just an issue for him when he is in her company all day but, and, however as the child who has been taking care of my mother (now 2 years deceased) and father for the last decade, I find it hard to sympathize. She can, in other words, deal with it and as a trained professional, who better should a crisis arise – and I doubt it will. My father made a joke about how he had to give us something to worry about and sister said “I have plenty to worry about, thank you” to him and “just go” to me and so I did, I just went. I think one or more of her children might be giving her a cause to worry as children seem to do that. I wouldn’t know for sure, not having any for which I alternately give the deepest, most heartfelt thanks and otherwise, on very rare occasions, weep with a some regret. But still I felt guilty until I got almost out of Schoharie County on my way back home. 
Thank goodness for my bro who, champ that he is, said – when I told him dad refused to take his O2 and Peg was angry “How is that your problem?” Exactly. I love my brother. I love my sisters too, only – they require more work.