chicken: (02. Pearl)
While I was away in Colorado helping to move my father into an assisted living facility, I didn't log in much. Thus I missed you all very much, and am at skip=???.

I am very depressed about my father's inevitable mortality, but I keep telling myself that an assisted living facility is much better than a nursing home. He likes it there and seems to be improving under their care.

As for me, I am exhausted and now remember why Florida weather is so nice. Colorado is cold, dry, nosebleeds every day, chapped face and hands, generally horrible and miserable. Florida is nice and warm and the perfect level of humidity. Don't let me ever, ever complain about the weather here.
chicken: (Default)
So I thought of another typical word my mother loved to use a lot -- skedaddle. I now realize that not everyone has heard this word, and some people laugh at me when I say it.

The other thing I like about it is that it goes nicely with that word made so famous by Oz in BtVS, namely, "mosey". (For a fascinating article about the contradictory meanings of this, see the "Slow down faster" section of this article.)

Mosey! Skedaddle!

I just love words.

So do other people use "skedaddle"?

And what about vamoose? That was another of her favorites.
chicken: (31.  Wedding icon kissing cap)
I'm surprised not to have seen this on my f-list yet, it seems like huge news!

http://www.planetout.com/news/article.html?date=2007/08/30/3&navpath=/news/

http://www.planetout.com/news/article.html?2007/08/31/4

It isn't totally legal yet because it's being appealed to the state
supreme court, but there's a good chance it will stand.

California, Maryland, and Connecticut are considering related cases.

On this first day of September, three days before the first anniversary of my mother's death, I find this news very uplifting. She was a native Iowan, and as a champion of gay rights (thanks to having me as her gay gay daughter, and having several gay friends), I think she would have been very happy about this.
chicken: (53. Curse of the Were-Rabbit)

Pretty wife!
Originally uploaded by chickenofeathers


Pretty wife! Take 2


Ah, the bunny is looking lovely!

The food at this diner was horrible, but the company was LOVELY and also the decor was great (there was a lot of great CHICKEN kitsch).
chicken: (Default)
I wanted to scan in some more photos today, since today is Mother's Day, and this is the first mother's day since her passing last year.

My age in the photo: 9 months

What I like about this photo: my mother looks happy, I look happy, her yellow dress is adorable, and her haircut is horrible, with static electricity to boot. Also, the car seat has that uber-sturdy 1970 look to it. Huge, hard black plastic. I think car seats today look really different.

Also, we both have that patented genetically unavoidable Enormous Forehead.



chicken: (09.  Mommy)
I don't understand why it took three months to get to this point, but this morning I woke up really missing my mother. It has been easy so far to just not think about her much, or to ruminate on how in many ways, we lost her a long time before she actually passed away, because she hasn't been the same person she was when we were kids for quite a long time.

But for some reason today I just wanted to hear the sound of her voice, however changed and annoying it could sometimes be. *sigh*
chicken: (18. ma (horse))

When my mother passed away, it was quite a shock to discover hidden pictures in her house, of relatives and ancestors she had always claimed not to care about, and Christmas cards from relatives she had always told us she did not know, and who wanted nothing to do with her.


Mah Family, Fresno, 1938
Originally uploaded by chickenofeathers.

I also found a lot of photographs of my father's relatives that I am sure he wants back, that were left behind in her house when he fled during the beginning of their separation/divorce.

I also found a booklet that she sent away for in the 1980's, from a distant cousin of hers, showing her mother's mother's branch of the family tree dating back to 1600's Virginia colonists!

I find all these photos fascinating because I had become accustomed to the idea of never knowing anything about my family. Now I know a lot more, and my father has started telling my sister and me lots of stories to go with the photos of his family. I've never had this kind of relationship with him before -- it feels good.



Meanwhile I have lots more scanning to do -- this is just a small sampling of the total number of photos we found!
chicken: (30. Ellie and me icon by bunnyohare)
First off, in Hobbit tradition, I gave presents to other people on my birthday. This gave me the best sense of happiness, actually. Seeing the look on my darling [livejournal.com profile] bunnyohare's face when she got her long-wished-for Rabbit Slippers (pink!) was awesome. Plus, the plush monkey for my sister arrived in the mail today.

We also went out to dinner at the Tuscan Tavern in Warren (a town with a very rabbity name!), and then went to buy me an outfit for the Bunny's brother's wedding (which is in less than a week). I've gained forty (40!) pounds since I started on my thyroid medication a year ago, so of course none of my wedding-appropriate clothes fit me anymore.

Tonight she is making me a black forest cake, since yesterday we were way too full from dinner to even contemplate cake.

It was a wonderful birthday, and thanks to everyone for their birthday wishes.

chicken: (08. daddy)
I know to most of you, today is Veteran's Day. But to me, it's also my father's birthday today.

Why my father's birthday and Veteran's Day are conflated (not just because they are on the same day). Blather blather blather. )

My father is 76 years old today. His leg was just re-amputated, higher up this time, and the prosthesis is now too big and heavy, making it hard to lift his leg or get through physical therapy to learn to walk on it. He's in a lot of pain, and is still not the same after the prostate cancer. But he is in good spirits, and when I called to wish him a happy birthday, he was HAPPY! Six professor friends from his teaching days took him and my sister out to dinner last night. My sister takes good care of him, driving him to all his medical appointments, helping around the house, and with shopping. I feel that happy knowing this. We weren't close when I was a child, but my father and I have grown closer since then, and I love him very much, and wish him as pain-free and happy a years to come as one could hope.
chicken: (01. yellowchicken)
I forgot to post something on the actual day of my one-year* LJ anniversary (Oct 25), so I'll say it now:

Thank you to everyone I've met here in LJ Land during the past year. I can't believe I joined a year ago -- it seems as if I've known y'all for much longer than that. At first, I came for the fandom, and all you fandom people have been more than fuel for the fire that is our mutual obsession. But many of you have become much more than just fellow fandom-squee-a-holics.

To all:

- So thanks for being friends, too.
- Thanks for supporting me during my fears over my sister's Western China trek during SARS, and over my mother's West Nile and my father's leg and cancer woes, and so on.
- Thank you even more for all your heart-felt support and love for me and [livejournal.com profile] bunnyohare during our wedding, and thank you for voting pro-gay during the elections, even though many of you aren't gay.
- Thank you for making me laugh with your funny fan fiction and your insightful social and political commentary.
- Thank you for making me cry with your angsty fan fiction, your searing political analyses, and your insightful personal entries on your own lives.
- Thank you for all the rps and rpg; a year ago, I would have been horrified by it, and now I am the biggest of fans.
- Thank you for helping the Bunny through some depressing times.
- Thank you for the intellectual challenges, and for getting me to be more confident about writing.
- Thank you for your help with vidding.
- Thank you for some kick-ass icons.
- Thank you for reading this silly thank-you list.

To [livejournal.com profile] keever, thank you for all that and also for introducing me to this crazy LJ world in the first place. :-)

---
* Er, one year of the paid account. Yeah, there were those six "free account" months first, but who's counting? Everyone likes to get thanked as often as possible. ;-)
chicken: (mommy)
I mean ... Ha!

My mother's Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) charges have finally been paid by Mutual of Omaha. Finally. These charges dated back to October, for crying out loud. Argh! I can finally discard all the scary bills.

Big sigh of relief. That finance administrator woman (Pat) from Columbine who called to tell me was SO nice, unlike some of the bureaucrats there.

Thanks

Dec. 4th, 2003 12:40 am
chicken: (shortest hair)
Rather than respond to all five of you, thank you very much for your thoughts for my mother.

Also, GIP. This is the scary, "plucked chicken", too butch version of my hair in 1990. EEeeeeeek!

Anyway, you all rule. Thanks again.

Oh, P.S., South Park is getting really heavy-handed, but is still capable of making fun of itself.
chicken: (mommy)
My mother (pictured here in my new icon) is going home on Friday morning!!!

She has a steel plate in her hip and a walker and a positive outlook. What a relief. My father (her ex-husband) will be taking her out for brunch to celebrate. He has been very kind to her through all this.
chicken: (Default)
So I neglected to call my mother, I neglected to research home care, assisted living, Medicaid, Medigap, and most of all I neglected to call her lawyer back. I am so not a good daughter.

On the plus side of the weekend, I love our new Hitachi and the bunny who wields it, I love eating food and vegging, I love making fun of the stupid Emmy Awards, I love how funny Jon Stewart is, and I love my furry cats who shed too much.

My sister said on the phone today that she is buying tomato plants to put in her garden this week. Cuz apparently in Arizona the summer is too hot to grow stuff, and the winter is perfect. I am so way jealous. Cuz I hate hate hate winter and cold cruel wind and too much snow.
chicken: (Default)
My sister is finally leaving China, and not for Turkey after all. I believe she's made a wise decision. She's decided to return to San Francisco. So far they've made it to Shanghai.

She said that everywhere you go, people stop you and take your temperature and make you dip your hands in bleach, and sign a paper certifying that you have no symptoms, and everyone wears a mask over their nose and mouth. Even the internet bars that have not closed from panic have lots of these health guards at the doors, and let me tell you, those keyboards get swabbed down an awful lot! I don't know how much of this is justified and how much just fear-fueled.

They may be quarantined for ten days once they arrive, but I think that's a small thing compared to everything else they've been through. If I believed in gods, I'd pray for them. Since I don't, I'll just keep them in my thoughts and hope for the best.
chicken: (Default)


1. western china
East to West:
Apr. 21: Zhuzhou
Apr. 22: Xi'an
Apr. 24: Urumqi

2. central asia
East to West:
Apr. 24: Urumqi
Apr. 25: Kashi
Apr. 27: Kashgar
Apr. 29: Taxkorgan
Last red dot that meets the blue line is Islamabad, Pakistan
Blue line is projected future journey post-Islamabad


So my sister and her boyfriend are STILL marking time at the border between western China and Pakistan. I hope they get out soon. This is their 4th day in Taxkorgan (in Xinjiang province), waiting for the first border buses. I think it's because of the weather in the mountains, they only have the border open from May to October.

They spent three months teaching English at a college in Hunan province. Since before April 21, they've been on the move westward.

Her first email from Xi'an said:

"In light of SARS disease we decided to flee china! The chinese govt. does its best to suppress information, but from what we can gather it is rather serious, and cases have appeared in our city. We know that when the news says 10 people have died, it means 100; if they say 100 it means 1000, etc. Some borders are already closing (vietnam has closed its border). We decided not to take any chances and are on our way out. we've chosen the northwest as the safest and least travelled route."

They are not sick, and have gone way past the incubation time without any symptoms, so they are safe in that regard. I just hope they get to over the border without being stopped. If they can get to Islamabad they'll be home free.

At least they've really enjoyed seeing parts of China with a different ethnic, cultural, and political atmosphere. In the west most people are of Turkish ancestry, and far out-number Chinese. The second they arrived in Urumqi (circled in purple on both maps, capital of Xinjiang province), people were much friendlier and less stressed out.

The further west you go, the fewer people you meet who speak Chinese. She's picking up some Arabic already. She already speaks about six languages, so it's probably easy for her to pick up another one.

I've learned so much central asian geography in the last 12 days, from trying to track her progress (by train and bus) from town to town on the map. I'm sort of envious that she is getting to see parts of the world I'll probably never see (although our whole family did live in eastern China for a year as children).

But on the other hand, I don't think I'm as hardy as she is; I wouldn't be able to put up with the conditions on the road, the itinerant lifestyle. But I know she's having fun, and I'm happy for her. She wants to go live in Turkey for a few years. We'll see if she and her boyfriend can get jobs there.

As a geek, I am so fascinated by how many internet cafes/bars there are around the world. She's found one in practically even town where the trains/buses stop. She says that's because no one has private computers in their homes.

Since she has no phone and since phones are expensive anyway, she emails me almost every day with updates, and then I call my parents and update them. Email rules!
chicken: (Default)
Through a series of unbelievable insurance company, hospital, and surgeon bureaucratic mishaps, my father did not even have his surgery yesterday.

Plus, my mom's really old volvo station wagon was hit (while parked) by an out-of-control suburban assault vehicle. Thankfully she was not in the car at the time. Yet another insurance company nightmare, as at least three cars were involved overall.

Ugh.

Mortality

Apr. 30th, 2003 12:10 pm
chicken: (Default)
Tomorrow my 75 year old father is having surgery again. He had prostate cancer, and now there are a few complications. He says they are minor, that the surgery will be minor, that it is not a big deal. But he also said he was in quite a lot of pain, and he sounded distracted and forgetful on the phone.

My mother said he's lost a lot of weight and doesn't look too good. Even though they're divorced, they are still kind of friends. And it is hard to believe some things my mother says about him, because she has an extremely subjective opinion. It's sometimes hard to believe anything one says about the other.

I was so much closer to my mother when I was a kid, but now I find myself liking my father more. They are about 2000 miles away from me, so it's hard to gauge anything, but I just get so annoyed with my mother these days. She's so terribly judgmental about everything and everyone, she is inexcusably rude to my girlfriend (and it's not even homophobia, just plain rudeness), and she jumped to a lot of conclusions about my sister's boyfriend, apparently.

Maybe it's just because his health is worse and he's older than she is, but I think about him a lot these days. When PBS was showing their multi-part series on Chinese Americans and the history of the Chinese in America, I practically broke down crying everytime they mentioned anything at all familiar in his history, our history, or the extended family's history.

They had children (my sister and me) when they were in their very late thirties/early forties. So I guess I've seen this coming for a while.

Almost everyone I know has already lost one or more major family members. Now I'm starting to get a small glimmer of what it is like.

I'm sure he'll be fine this time, but there are always going to be other times. Worrying doesn't help, I guess. When someone's health is poor it is kind of like waiting for the other shoe to drop, but at the same time it's still too easy to take a person for granted. Some connundrum.

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