Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Phillip Is Finally Home from The L.A. Riot Area

Monday May 18, 1992

I slept about 10 hours last night and feel pretty good this morning. I get started on the laundry and get cleaned up. Phillip calls and we talk an hour about his ordeal as a National guardsman in the riot area of Los Angeles for the past 3 weeks. Frank is working on the Marvel house.

We have our leftovers from last night's dinner at Pineapple Hill and then go square dancing. We have a great time but I'm tired and sit out some dances. I did laundry and shopping today.

After dancing we go to Bill and Sue's house to celebrate Harold's 40th birthday. Alot of folks show up.

Justin's Birthday!

Sunday May 17, 1992 Justin's Birthday!

I had a rough night, awake alot and taking Tylenol to try to ease the pains in my body, so I had a rough morning also. Pains in my stomach after breakfast which happens only once in awhile. Then after my shower, I had more sweating than usual. Some days the sweats are horrible and last for an hour or so while other days the sweating subsides in about 10-15 minutes. We visit til 11:30 and then pull out and head home. It's a good drive but I can't stay awake. I sleep most of the way. Once home I gather enough steam to unpack the trailer.

After a rest we go out to dinner and over to see Gary. They had company all weekend and enjoyed it.

We called Justin at 3 p.m. to wish him Happy Birthday.

I'm glad Mom was able to nap on the drive home and that Frank was rested enough to drive the whole way.

Mom always made a big deal out of birthdays and holidays. It was one of her ways of showing love.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cruising Balboa Island

Saturday May 16, 1992

Lazy morning, up at 7:45. I'm ready by 10 a.m. We visit around for awhile, then 7 of us decide to take a ride in Brenda & Denny's boat. We cruise around Balboa and the island and have lunch on the water at The Red Onion. We have a great time and alot of laughs. We especially tease Bill about explaining to Sue where he's been so long. He thought he was taking a short boat ride. We were gone 4 hours.

The rest of the day we visited, relaxed, rode our bikes, and tried to fly kites but there wasn't enough wind. We played a new board/card game Delores bought. At 5:30 we carried our food to the club room for our 6 p.m. potluck which was very good. Afterward we visited in Pam & Jim's RV with others. I did quite well today though I did take a 15 minute nap in the afternoon.

Now that sounds like fun! I like the idea of cruising around Balboa Island checking out expensive waterfront homes with their yachts out front on their private docks, and then having lunch at a waterfront restaurant. Ric and I enjoy cruising the shore of Incline Village on the north side of Lake Tahoe, checking out the expensive waterfront homes. It sounds like Mom really enjoyed the relaxation and fun with friends.

Newport Dunes

Friday May 15, 1992

Alarm goes off at 6:30. I had forgotten what a dreadful sound that is! I'm too tired. We take 20 minutes to rise. By 9 a.m. we are ready to leave. Frank calls Robbie. They're ready too, so we leave 1/2 hour early to meet for breakfast at Millie's in Mission Hills. We have a great breakfast and are on the road with our trailers by 11 a.m.

We arrive about 12:30 at Newport Dunes, a beautiful RV park 1/2 mile from Balboa Island. We have all day to see the area on our bicycles. Then we drive out on Balboa Island and take the ferry to Balboa. It's nothing like I remember as a teenager. It's crowded with expensive homes and boats.

We have steak dinner with Robbie and Delores in our trailer. Our friends begin to arrive about 7:30. By 10:00 all 9 are here. I felt really good all day today, even riding the bikes.

I have never been to Newport Beach, which is a coastal community in Orange County, Southern California, but did a little research on the town, which has a population of approximately 85,000 and a median home price of $1 million. Definitely, a place for the rich and famous! Where I live in Northern California a comparable community might be Sausalito or Tiburon in Marin County.

The campground where they stayed looks just beautiful, right on the water with a nice sandy beach, swimming lagoon and marina. At $225/night for their current summer rate the place is too pricey for my camping budget. I hope they got a group rate!

Gary Can Be Very Obstinate

Thursday May 14, 1992

Up and getting ready for our trip to Newport Beach with 12 other RVs and friends of ours from square dancing. Takes all day to make potato salad, deviled eggs, clean up and load the trailer. I must sit down to rest my back every hour or so.

Mother leaves for Gene and Cathy's about 12:30. She slept until 11:15 when I woke her up. I worry as I watch her poor driving as she leaves.

Frank comes and goes working on Marvel house.

Gary was sweet last night as he showed his grandmother around his new house by himself. I hope we didn't do more harm than good talking about Gary and Maria getting married. Gary can be very obstinate. I don't like that. It reminds me of his father. Also, the way he puts things off, forever it seems.

Wow, is that typical for elderly people to sleep all morning? The ones I know have the opposite problem. They go to bed early by 9 p.m. at the latest, but they are up at 5 a.m.

As for Gary, I don't find him to be obstinate at all, but actually quite laid back, which is partly the reason for the procrastination. My dad on the other hand is very stubborn and opinionated as well as narrow-minded. I don't think Gary has any of those traits.

Friday, February 24, 2012

We Chide Gary About Getting Married

Wednesday May 13, 1992

Up early so i can have breakfast before I start drinking the media for my CAT scan today. Then I make spaghetti sauce and salad to take to Gary's tonight. I fix breakfast for Mom when she gets up about 10 a.m. She seems so feeble and needs to hold on for fear of falling. I worry how she manages at home. This is the last time she will drive here herself.

My CAT scan goes OK, but I am worried about injecting chemo drugs on top of what they injected for CAT. Not to worry, my platelets are too low, 5500; they must be at least 11,000 for chemo. I must worry about bleeding. My blood won't clot.

We have a lovely dinner and visit at Gary's. We chide him about getting married. He's been with Maria 10 years now.

My brother Gary is never one to rush into anything. Ten years is a long time to date the same woman. I think Mom is pushing him to "pop the question" so that she can look forward to more grandbabies. Maria has two teenage boys Joe and Gabe, but Mom thinks it would be nice for Gary to have a biological child. But Mom is not one to tease. She and Frank dated for 8 years before they got married.

Grandma Helen is 84 years old at this time and even though she is becoming feeble, it is amazing that she is still driving 4 hours from Desert Hot Springs to visit her children. I'm not sure it was her idea or Mom's that this would be her last time making that drive. Grandma Helen, as well as her mother Grandma Johnson always prided herself for being a strong independent woman, and being able to drive gave her alot of independence. It would be 5 more years before she passed away, outliving her daughter.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Aching All Over

Tuesday May 12, 1992

Up at 7:30, aching all over. Hurry to the Tylenol which helps some. My neck still hurts, my right wrist is still in terrible pain when I bend it. My back and hips ache and my thumbs are terrible. And there's always my aching knees.

Mother is down at 9:30. I leave her to go up and get ready after I make her some toast and O.J. Frank comes home at noon and we go out for Chinese food. It makes me feel sick.

We spend the afternoon watching TV, grocery shopping, reading the Sunday papers and preparing a delicious pork roast dinner.

Many scientific studies have shown that cancer is an inflammatory disease, much like heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. It makes sense that the chronic inflammation is affecting her joints and making her ache all over.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Visit With Mother

Monday May 11, 1992

I go to have my nails done at 10:45. When I get home Mother is here and Frank is making lunch. I spend the day visiting with Mom and doing the laundry. After dinner we go square dancing. I'm tired but so is Frank. He is working so hard. It's really good seeing our friends. We manage to dance all the tips. We come home at 10:00 to watch Northern Exposure.

Until the last couple years of her life, Grandma Helen lived quite independently in her mobile home in Desert Hot Springs. Typically, she would drive to Uncle Gene and Aunt Cathy's house in Pasadena for a visit, spend the night there and then travel from Pasadena to Simi Valley to visit Mom the next day. She probably spent Mother's Day with her son Gene before driving to visit Mom in the afternoon the next day. She loved the freedom of being able to drive herself around. For many years she even drove a truck and camper so she would have her own private sleeping quarters. Like Mom and like Uncle Gene, Grandma Helen always loved to travel, even if it was a shoestring budget of Social Security checks. When Grandpa Al was alive they often travelled cross country. They were members of the Alaska Camper Club.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mother's Day

Sunday May 10, 1992 Mothers Day

We're up, feeling good and ready at 9:45 when Gary and Maria and the boys arrive to take us to brunch at Marie Callendar. Maria gives me a pretty bell from Avon. Gary gives me a blown-glass hummingbird. They all give me nice cards. Very nice. We have a great brunch with lots of good food. Later we go looking at furniture for Gary and Maria's new home. Then we go by their house for a bit.

When we get home at 1:30 we relax and take a short nap. At 2:30 we leave for Frank's folks house in West Los Angeles. We take them to the Olive Garden for dinner. My dinner is superb! I really enjoy it. We stay to visit til 9 p.m. We're really tired. I sleep on the way home.

Chris and Justin call. They went to Reno and Tahoe for the weekend and had a real good time. We have a good long visit.

When Mom passed away she left two collections, one of bells and one of hummingbirds. Maria got the bells, and I got the hummingbirds. The blown-glass hummingbird that Gary gave Mom is pictured above. It sounds like a perfect Mother's Day. She got a call from her daughter and lunch with her son, then dinner with Frank's parents. Marie Callendars and Olive Garden are two of my favorite restaurants.

I'm Too Fat To Let Anyone See Me in a Bathing Suit

Saturday May 9, 1992

Now it's Frank's turn to have a bad tummy. He ate too much or a bad combo last night and he feels terrible. I feel much better today. We sleep in til 8:30, have breakfast and Frank is off to Marvel house to work. I piddle around the house. At 2:30 we leave for Larry and Bernice' house for swim and dinner with a few of our square dance friends. It's quite cool today so we wear pants and decide not to take our bathing suits. I'm too fat to let everyone see me in a bathing suit.

Larry and Bernice have a lovely home. the men sit in the hot tub. Later we eat pizza and salad, then put on our square dance clothes and go to a dance in North Hollywood where we have a grand time. I feel real good!

I can so relate to the bathing suit dilemna! Lucky she had an excuse with the cool weather.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

When I Die I Don't Want Frank to be Alone

Friday May 8, 1992

Still not feeling great but much improved. I'm tired, probably from my busy day yesterday. I go to the market, bank and Target and drag home. Frank comes home now and again for tools, etc. I make a great salad and we leave for Lane & Phil's at 7 p.m. for dinne with old friends from Interdyne where we worked 15 years ago. Dick & Carol and Del are there. We have some good talk and a great dinner. We are home at 12:00 midnight.

I'm thinking tonight in bed that when I die I don't want Frank to be alone. I think our friend Rosie would make a good mate and a good replacement for me. She is sweet and would fit right in. She's a real family person and close to her son and grandchildren in Palmdale. We may talk about this later.

Proverbs 12:18 says "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." The words we speak to others can encourage them or discourage them. Sometimes, they can bring life or bring death. When Mom had her doctor visit with her surgeon on April 30, he was not encouraging and she felt like he was writing her off as a lost cause. I see a definitely shift in her attitude, which was always positive before this. I have just begun Book 4 of her journal, a bit more than halfway through her journey and I see the shift like a blinking sign. That doctor spoke death to her, and she is giving up. She is talking about dying, and about finding a new wife for Frank. She knew that Frank would want to find a mate as quickly as possible. He would not like to be alone. My brother Gary and I were angry that he started dating a woman from their square dancing club a few months after Mom passed away, and they were married about a year later. Millie had beeen single for a very long time though and was used to having alot of freedom to come and go as she pleased without having to check in with anyone. This drove Frank crazy and after 7 years they divorced. Then Frank started dating Mom's friend Carol, one of her most enduring friendships, having met in kindergarten. Mom and Frank were introduced to jazz festivals by Carol and her boyfriend, and she shared their passion for square dancing as well. Rosie was not to be Frank's wife, but Mom's friend Carol, pictured above with Frank in 2011, would become his wife and companion in his old age. I think Mom would have been pleased with his selection.

Again, I am impressed with Mom's attitude "Once a friend, always a friend.". Her closest friends were ones she met in elementary school, like Donna and Carol. After she left her job at Interdyne, she kept in touch with her co-workers even 15 years later. Four years after I have retired from PG&E after 33 years working there, I only keep in touch with one person, my boss Pat. We have a tradition to take each other out every year for our birthdays, his in January, mine in April. He also invites me to the company Christmas breakfast every year. He was the best boss I ever had, and I am really glad we keep in touch. Otherwise, I don't keep in touch with anyone from PG&E, but have found a new circle of friends from my church.

Friday, February 17, 2012

So Many Great Memories

Thursday May 7, 1992

Up feeling a wee bit better but my belly is still tender with lots of gas. Frank and I have lunch at Carl's Jr. He gives me a list and I'm off to 1000 Oaks to buy tile for the bathrooms of the rental house. I'm not able to get everything I need so off to Van Nuys for the rest. I would love to stop and see Joan but am pressed for time. I do some shopping and make a great meatloaf dinner.

We relax at home tonight. I call Joan Larson. We have a good talk. She wants to get together and hold hands and talk about how lucky we are even though we have cancer. I agree! We are very lucky. We have had really great lives. So many great memories.

One of the reasons I enjoy publishing this blog is that it stirs up memories. I have great memories too, just like Mom and Joan. My life growing up in the Lemona house (pictured above) which was across the street from Joan and Hal Larson was of a simpler time, where we would play outside with our friends, ride bikes, roller skate, play handball against the garage door, play hide-and-go-seek or play a board game. We didn't have much money for stuff. We couldn't afford a Barbie doll or many toys, but I did love to read and Mom took Gary and I to the library to check out 10 books every week. We dug a fort in the backyard one summer, and climbed the huge birch tree in our front yard. I spent most summers swimming next door in the Gangl's pool, and once a week Mom and her friend Donna would load up the kids in our Pontiac station wagon and take us to Santa Monica Beach where we swam in the surf and went body-surfing. We got sunburned and came home covered in sand. I enjoy reading about Mom's childhood which was much poorer than mine. In the summertime we also spent a week camping at Leo Carrillo Beach in Ventura County, while our dads stayed home and worked. On the weekend they joined us at the campground.

My boys have a much different childhood with every electronic gadget, hundreds of video games, and access to any movie they want to watch. There is very little playing outside with friends. I hope when they look back on their childhood it with fond memories. We have tried to give them adventures as they have grown, camping, boating, jetskiing, riding ATVs in the sand dunes or the mountains, and travels all over Canada and the United States, including Alaska.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I Could Stay In Bed All Day

Wednesday May 6, 1992

I'm tired again this morning. Have breakfast and crawl back into bed for 45 minutes. I could stay in bed all day but force myself up and into the shower at 10 a.m. My bowels are still acting up with lots of gas and pain.

Frank comes home from the rental house and we go out to lunch at The Schooner. We had won free lunch tickets. It's really a beer joint with sandwiches. I'm not comfortable there. It has no class at all: sawdust floor, pool tables and dart boards.

I do some shopping, meet with the lady making new drapes for our rental, get my nails done and go check out Frank at the rental. Got new acoustic ceilings today.

Philip calls tonight and he and Frank talk quite awhile.

Mom was demanding of those around her and she was especially demanding of herself, never allowing herself to rest or relax. I remember when she came to visit me a few days after I had given birth by C-section to my son Justin in 1981. I was in bed in my nightgown and she insisted that I get up and dressed. In her mind there seemed to be no allowances for recovery from surgery, no time to be sick, or to even just allow herself a lazy day. She always had to appear put together, hair coiffed, make-up on, no matter what. Even the night she died, she would not allow us to visit until she had her make-up on and her hair done.

Philip iIs Still National Guarding Los Angeles

Tuesday May 5, 1992

I'm tired and dragging around all day. We had homemade greasy tacos last night and I am full of gas and pain all day. My bowels are overactive. I don't feel like it but go anyway to our club board meeting at Joan and Harold's. I'm glad I did. I enjoyed seeing their house, etc.

I bought a card for Frank's cousin Frances. I wrote a note reminding her to be optimistic about her cancer. It will be hard as that family tends to be pessimistic about everything.

Philip called from the Coliseum in Los Angeles and left a message. He's still National Guarding Los Angeles. Frank was so disappointed he missed his call.

7 days after the Rodney King riots began, the National Guard is still patrolling South Central Los Angeles. Phili's unit is stationed at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Making Plans For Mother's Day

Monday May 4, 1992

Awoke feeling better today. Up and busy with the laundry and vacuum the house. By 2 p.m. I'm out of gas. I do some shopping, fix dinner, and we go square dancing. It's good to be back and see all our friends. We're both tired and come straight home after.

Gary left a message while we were out. I must call him back to check on his plans for Mother's Day next Sunday. We plan to take Mom and Frank's folks out to early 4:30 p.m. dinner.

In the above photo, my brother Gary and I are sitting between Mom and her mother Grandma Helen. Grandma lived in Desert Hot Springs, 3 hours away, so taking her out to dinner for Mother's Day was an all-day ordeal. Frank's folks lived near Los Angeles International Airport, not at all near Desert Hot Springs.

Now that we are in the final year of Mom's life, this journal will probably become more emotional for me. Mom died the following year just a few days before Mother's Day. After Frank, Gary and I visited the funeral home to make arrangements, we went to Marie Callendar's for lunch and there was a sign there about celebrating Mother's Day. I burst into tears at the restaurant, knowing I would not be celebratins Mother's Day with Mom ever again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm A Bit Depressed Today

Sunday May 3, 1992

Awoke tired. Had a waffle breakfast, called shirley and returned to bed for a nap. About 1 p.m. Frank and I went shopping for Marvel. I'm having alot of pain in my lower abdomen. It continues until bedtime. I am tired all day and my backache is really a problem.

We know now that Frank's cousin Frances has breast and bone cancer. Not good news. She had not had a mammogram in 4 years. I hope to counsel her after her surgery. I'll send a card for now.

I'm a bit depressed today.

Well, no wonder she's depressed, when suffering from abdomenal pain, back pain, and fatigue. Sometimes even the master encourager needs a little encouragement.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Gary Is Sent Into The Riot Area to Restore Power

Saturday May 2, 1992

According to the TV all the DWP (Department of Water & Power, where Gary works) men were sent to the burned-out areas to repair the power today. They were to have police protection but it's still dangerous. I can't wait to hear he is home safe. Problem is, he has to work there for a long time to get all the damage repaired.

I feel good today, so I call Maria and arrange to pick her up at 10:30. We take the boys and go window shopping in Simi Valley. Later we go to the park for the arts and crafts show. They have entertainment too. They have alot to see and buy. I'm home about 2:30 to wrap Gena's first communion gift. Frank comes home from painting Marvel and we go to the party 2 doors away. We see alot of our neighbors. We have great food there.

At 8 p.m. we go square dancing. I have a good amount of energy and the caller is fast. I sweat a little more than my overweight friends.

So now Mom has to worry about her stepson Philip in the National Guard as well as her son Gary who was called in to restore power in the riot area. This was a legitimate concern considering what happened to Reginald Denny the first night of the riots. At approximately 6:45 pm, Reginald Denny, a white truck driver who stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of Florence and South Normandie Avenues, was dragged from his vehicle and severely beaten by a mob of local black residents as news helicopters hovered above, recording every blow, including a concrete fragment connecting with Denny's temple and a cinder block thrown at his head as he lay unconscious in the street. The police never appeared, having been ordered to withdraw for their own safety.

Philip is Called Up With The National Guard

Friday May 1, 1992 L.A. Riots Day 3

A phone call from an acoustic repairman woke us at 6:30 a.m. Neither of us got back to sleep before we got up at 7:30. I went down to prepare breakfast for Frank, Junior and Joseph. Junior came down about 7:45, Joe about 8:15. We all had cereal and watched the news which was pretty good. The curfew last night did some good. There was alot less looting and fires and alot more arrests. Things seem to have calmed down alot. Debby calls to say Phil and his National Guard unit spent the night in Arcadia, but they are on their way to Compton.

We take the boys with us to Marvel house to meet the roofer. The rest of the day they spend watching movies and eating. I pay the bills. Frank puts new brakes on the Cady. Gary and Maria arrive from work about 5:30. Gary must work tomorrow 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. I pray he'll be safe. I hope he doesn't have to go to the riot area. I feel much better about the riots.

Shortly after 9:00 p.m. on April 29, the first 2,000 California Army National Guard soldiers were requested by the governor. The Marines were also called in to restore order. Frank's son was a member of the National Guard and was called into service. My brother Gary works for the Department of Water and Power and was called in to repair damage to electrical equipment and restore power. Unlike the Watts riots of 1965, a comparatively small neighborhood, the 1992 riots encompassed a huge area that stretched over 32 miles from the Hollywood Hills to Long Beach.

One year from this date Mom would pass away.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dr. Bienstock Does Not Give Me Hope or Encouragement

Thursday April 30, 1992 The L.A. Riots Continue

Frank must work on the Marvel house today so I go alone to Woodland Hills to see Dr. Bienstock. I'm shocked when I arrive. There are 6 fire engines there. For an instant I think the madmen who set all of L.A. ablaze last night might have been here. But no, it was a gas line outside in a construction area. But the building I'm to enter has been evacuated. Soon everything is back to normal and I'm with Dr. Bienstock for an exam. He still insists a look-see operation in July is unnecessary. He claims it would weaken my immune system and studies show it's no more effective to treat the cancer when there is some than more. I can't agree with that.

He calls Dr. Swartz to discuss. I hear Dr. Swartz backing down after he said to me, "If Dr. Bienstock won't operate we'll find another doctor who will." I am hurt. Dr. Bienstock agrees to send me to Kaiser Sunset for a second opinion. I like that.

I am so upset by Dr. Bienstock and the L.A. riots I hurry home on the verge of tears. Dr. Bienstock does not give me hope or encouragement. I feel he doesn't expect me to live long.

It is rare for Mom to be emotional. She is normally strong and stoic. But on this day her emotions got the best of her. Normally she has Frank at her side for support when she meets with her doctors, but today she is alone. Then she is shocked and disturbed at the prospect that the L.A. riots have spread to Kaiser Hospital in Woodland Hills, and then that the building is evacuated for a gas leak. She finally gets to see her oncologist, but she feels betrayed by him, like he is dismissing her as a lost cause. Even her regular doctor backs down after telling her at first that they will find another surgeon who will operate. I would be crying my eyes out! Having a doctor who is on my side is so important to me. The Kaiser health care system is set up to discourage surgeries in order to minimize their costs. When I suffered a herniated disk in my lower back 4 years ago, I had to drive 2 hours to see a specialist and then I had to insist on surgery. They didn't want to do it, but at least my surgeon left the final decision up to me. I respect him for that. I am glad I had the surgery and my only regret is that I had to wait so long to get it scheduled that I had some permanent nerve damage.

L.A. Riots

Wednesday April 29, 1992

Slept in til 8:30 just resting in bed mostly. My cold seems a wee bit better. I have kemo at 1:30. Before we leave, the TV announces the jury decision re Rodney King's beating by L.A.P.D. We all saw it on TV time and time again as a bystander had videotaped the episode. It was a horrible senseless beating but somehow the jury here in Simi Valley found the officers not guilty. Everyone is shocked! How can this be? We worry together on the way home what will happen in the black community as a revenge. We don't have to wonder long. Two hours later, 5 p.m. the TV is showing looting, cars being stopped and white people beaten in the Watts area of Los Angeles. Soon the fires begin. The entire city is under siege. It's horrible to watch. The police and firemen can't begin to deal with it. It goes on all night. A state of emergency is declared and the National Guard are ordered in. Phil is one who is called. We are worried sick. Will Gary have to go in to restore their power?

Even though I was only 12 years old at the time, I remember hearing about the Watts riots in Los Angeles in 1965. They lasted 4 days from August 11-August 15 and resulted in 34 deaths, 1032 injuries, 3438 arrests, and over $40 million in property damage. When an all-white jury acquitted 3 white and 1 Hispanic L.A.P.D. officers this day in 1992 right there in Simi Valley, it set off riots that made the 1965 Watts riots pale in comparison. When the police officers pulled over Rodney King after a high-speed pursuit, a bystander videotaped his beating by the police and it was broadcast on the news over and over. And yet these officers were acquitted of the crime that was so obvious to all of us. There was widespread looting, murder, arson and assault in Los Angeles following the verdict. After 6 days 53 were dead, thousands were injured, and property damage was over $1 billion.

Frank's Mom Has Cataract Surgery

Tuesday April 28, 1992

Frank is up and off to Los Angeles to take his mom for her cataract surgery. I sleep in and lay around all day resting my cold. My nose is running now but I don't feel bad all over. Frank gets home about 7 p.m. and we have dinner. A quiet night with a few phone calls and TV.

From Wikipedia: Cataract surgery is the removal of the natural lens of the eye (also called "crystalline lens") that has developed an opacification, which is referred to as a cataract. Metabolic changes of the crystalline lens fibers over time lead to the development of the cataract and loss of transparency, causing impairment or loss of vision. Many patients' first symptoms are strong glare from lights and small light sources at night, along with reduced acuity at low light levels. During cataract surgery, a patient's cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic lens to restore the lens's transparency.

Uh oh! I have definitely noticed a reduced acuity at night as I approach 60. I even spoke to my optometrist about it and she told it it was very common especially in older women. Will I have cataracts in 10 years?

Cheesecake For Breakfast

Monday April 27, 1992

I slept very well last night. My body ached alot less. I have cheesecake for breakfast. What a treat! Once cleaned up and the laundry half done, I'm off to get my nails done. I'm a bit tired and my voice is hoarse. I feel like I have a cold. Some coughing. The cough started 2 nights ago. I hope this won't be a big deal. I had wanted to go with Frank tomorrow. He must leave at 8 a.m. to take his mom for cataract surgery in Los Angeles. Maybe I should sleep in and take care of my cold.

After more ham and cheesecake dinner we decide not to go square dancing. I should rest my cold.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Couldn't Possibly Do It Without Frank

Sunday April 26, 1992

Bad night. Didn't sleep well thanks to aches and pains all over my body. I'm so out of shape it's pitiful. Just a bit more to do and we're ready for company. A last minutes trip to the market and our company, Bucky and Iny and Gene & Cathy arrive on time at 2 p.m. We spend the afternoon on the patio. The yard looks so beautiful! The ham dinner is ready at 6 p.m. and we have a lovely dinner and lovely time at our dining room table.

With Frank's help the day and the dinner turn out perfect. I couldn't possibly do it without him. I'm tired but happy when we settle down alone about 9 p.m.

Bucky is her cousin that she and Frank just visited a few weeks before in Florida and Iny is his wife. Mom's brother Gene and his wife Cathy from Pasadena came to visit them as well. I'm sure the weather was beautiful at the end of April and everything was blooming in their yard. They had a huge backyard that was beautifullly landscaped. It was the location of many parties, family reunions and even weddings.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Saturday April 25, 1992

Up and at em! Last full day to get the house and yard clean for spring and company tomorrow. Frank works at the rental house. I still have a fair amount of energy but my back is really hurting. I try to ignore it and keep on working but finally I'm forced to lie down for 2-3 minutes. that helps alot.

I made cupcakes to take square dancing tonight. I'm not sure I have any energy left but we go anyway in our new blue outfits we bought in Bakersfield. I do fine, dance every dance. We handle the drawing for 50-50 dollars. I'm really tired when 11 p.m. comes along.

Wow, is that what she calls a rest? 2-3 minutes? Mom always kept the house immaculate and fortunately Frank supported her in that. I can just imagine her running around making sure everything is in it's place before company arrives. I would love to keep an immaculate house, but the other 3 members of my family love CLUTTER, so I can choose to live with it or choose to be stressed out about it. I vacillate between the two, depending on whether company is coming.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chris Is Still Too Sick To Go Back To Work

Friday April 24, 1992

Awake at 7:30 feeling good! Frank works in the yard some before going to Marvel house to work. I go get him at noon and we go to lunch at Carls Jr. That was nice. He goes back to work. I go shopping. At home later I continue to polish the house for company Sunday. In the morning I moved some more plants and things on the patio. The place is shaping up, spring cleaning and spring yard work.

Chris calls. She's not going back to work after all. She still has morning sickness. I'm exhausted by dinnertime, but after dinner I feel well enough to go out looking at tub enclosures for Marvel house.

We watch a touching interview program with Burt Reynolds, Dolly Parton, and other country singers (women) we like. I make cupcakes for the dance tomorrow night.

Well, it wasn't exactly morning sickness, although it was worse in the morning. It was more like round-the-clock severe nausea. I would not return to work after my appendectomy but would be on disability until after the baby was born.

Poor Frank. He's either working at his own house, or working on the rental houses. Sounds like my retirement years. Ric is always working on some kind of repair at one of our 9 rental houses or the 6 we manage for his mother, or we are dealing with an eviction or trying to rent a house. As I write this Ric is working on a duplex in Sacramento that was left filthy by our tenant after he was evicted. It looks like he never once cleaned in the 8 years he lived there. Ric could not bear to sleep there it stunk so bad. Next week we go to court on an eviction proceeding in our town of Windsor, and for the past month I have been trying to rent out one of our houses. I have taken 25 or more calls and shown it 20 times, but it still sits vacant. With most or all of our equity lost in the real estate crash, we are unable to sell any of our properties, so we are stuck being landlords for several more years. Not the leisurely retirement most of us envision!

I Believe in Miracles

Thursday April 23, 1992

Another great energy day! Hal calls to say they took the tube out of Joan's throat so I can call her. I call her right away and we have a good talk. Her voice is hoarse from the tube. I encourage her to quit working. She was to retire in June anyway. She's not sure what she wants to do with her last year. I tell her to do whatever she wants to do without hesitation. That's what we've been doing.

Then I said, "I'm not giving up on you. I believe in miracles and if you believe, really stay optimistic, there is always hope. It's not over til it's over. I am praying every day for you and for me as well as others." She said she's sorry I have cancer too but it makes her feel we have a common bond.

We go to dinner at Steer & Stein and have a great steak dinner.

The pastor of my church just finished a series of sermons called Come & See, Come & Grow, Come & Serve. As Mom writes this entry, I am reminded of pastor's question "Are You A Gepper?" at week 3 Come & Serve. One of the ways we can serve God is to be a "Gepper":

G = GREET everyone who comes within 10 feet of you. Make eye contact, say hello, and touch gently on the arm or shoulder. Mom called our neighbor Joan in the hospital to greet her as soon as Joan was able to talk on the phone. She didn't wait until it was more convenient.

E = ENCOURAGE that person in whatever they are going through. Mom was a great encourager to Joan who was also battling cancer and was given just one year to live. She inspired her with her words, her actions and her attitude. She encouraged her to quit her job and live out the rest of her life, however long she had, doing whatever she loved doing the most.

P = PRAY for the person. Mom told Joan she was praying for her every day. Even better would be to pray for her right there on the phone.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Love A Circus

Wednesday April 22, 1992

I call Maria at work to ask them out to dinner at El Torito. She says the Circus Vargas is in town tonight and tomorrow. I get excited. I love a circus and insist we go tonight. Later Gary agrees to go and at 7:00 they arrive at our house. Gary drives. It's a fun circus.

As we leave I ask Frank what time is it? He says 9:50. When we turn on the TV at 10 p.m. news we learn there was an earthquake at 9:50, centered in Desert Hot Springs. It's a 6.1 so should be some damage. I try to call Mom but lines are down.

At 8 a.m. Thursday I begin again. I finally get through to Mom at 1:30 p.m. She's fine. Hardly felt it, just a little damage. No big deal for her.

It sounds like Mom had a premonition about the earthquake, as it would be impossible for her to actually feel it from hundreds of miles away. Her mother though lived right at the epicenter. Grandma Helen lived in a mobile home, so there could have been substantial damage with alot of shaking. 6.1 is a pretty large quake.

A Really Good Day

Tuesday April 21, 1992

Awoke feeling great! A really good day. I begin to think about the dinner on Sunday and go shopping for some of the foods. I begin some house cleaning.

Frank is working at the Marvel house every day from 9-5. He comes home for lunch. I try to make a nice lunch each day. We wpend a quiet evening at home.


Monday April 20, 1992

Awoke at 4 a.m. feeling sickly hungry. At 7 a.m. it had turned to nausea so I took a Compazine. Frank brought me a banana and the trash can to throw up in. About 9 a.m. I began retching and after giving up some bile I felt well enough to go down and drink some orange juice with a toasted muffin. Frank is working on the rental house. By 10:30 I was sick again so just continued to stay in bed. At noon Frank came home for lunch. He fixed a frozen entree for me of noodles, gravy and meatballs. After eating that I began to feel much better.

Was it the medicine that made me sick?? The "Alkeran" I take for 5 days every 6 weeks?

I'm well enough to go square dancing and dance every dance, but we come home after instead of going to Hudson's Grill.

Thank God for the internet. Mom did not have access to so much information that is now at the tip of our fingers. But didn't her doctor tell her about the side effects of Alkeran? A quick check of the website WebMD states the side effects of this medication which is used to treat cancer patients as follows:

"Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lip/mouth sores, and loss of appetite may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe."

At least the doctor did give her Compazine which is supposed to help relieve nausea for cancer patients. I remember my doctor prescribing it to me for my pregnancy nausea and it didn't do a thing for me.