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1:19 p.m. - 2010-03-09
Meetings, Muscles, and Minds Gone Walkabout.

The meeting went fine. Wolf's teachers and counselors had many nice things to say about his maturation over this school year. How many of his former issues (time rigidity, social miscues, egocentrism, etc) have quietly faded away and how no new warty horrors have cropped up to take their place. The rep from Podunkville district was, as usual, taking great pains to assure me that any and all opportunities and services my child might need will be made available. An offer made with the panicky backbeat of "Please don't call the paper again! PLEASE don't call the civil rights lawyer again! We screwed up, I know we screwed up! Sorry! Sorry! But pleeeeeeeze no more bad press about our shit treatment of special ed students! PUH-leeeeeeeeze!!!!" making her voice wobble just a wee bit.

Good. Be afraid and stay afraid, you shitheads. You totally dicked over my kid and I will not EVER let you off the hook for it.

I can't say spring has officially sprung, but it sure looks hopeful out there. The snow drops are up. Mick spotted a robin in the yard this morning. There's still plenty of snow, but it sure feels good to have the furnace shut down on purpose, as opposed to the involuntary shut-down after the big storm. The house is warm enough without it. Warm enough to open Mandy the cat's favorite sittin' window and she's on the sill as I type this all slit-eyed content and grooving on the fresh breeze.

No kudos for having the week's menus planned. I'd just recently done the grocery shopping and left the necessary proteins in the fridge. There's plenty of nights where I do the panicked 4:00pm "Shit! I forgot to take out the meat!" refrigerator reconnaissance and scramble around for something to make for dinner. Besides having thawed meat handy I'm all cook-ly because of my new pots and pans too, so really, I am not as forward thinking and organized as I sounded in the last entry.

What I am getting is bigger biceps. The thighs are a woe, but having buff arms is rather cool. Unfortunately the bigger biceps haven't done a bloody thing with the flappy underarm thing. I do work specifically on my triceps, but I am afraid that boat has sailed when it comes to reclaiming my arms from their flying squirrel status. Flappy upper arms are here to stay.

Hey, I'm 47 years old. Shit is going to flap and droop no matter what I do in the gym. Snaps to me though, Thursday marks my second completed month at the gym. Aside from one bad menstrual day and a loss when the blizzard was blizzing I haven't missed a workout. Yesterday on the treadmill I walked the equivalent of going to the general store and 2/3's of the way back. Next time I aim to make the entire round trip. I've never liked walking. I know it's a sanity saver for a lot of folks. That's cool. What I've discovered at the gym is that my problem with walking is having to cover uneven terrain. The treadmill negates this. An always even surface at a pre-set incline is such a boon. I thought I'd hate the treadmill even more than walking outdoors. Turns out not to be the case. Without having to watch where I put my feet (remember, balance and guaranteed muscle control are problems for me) and having a steady reliable surface beneath me I am actually liking my walks to nowhere. Yeah, I've mentally mapped out the distance I'd cover if I set off from my house, hence my saying I've walked to the general store, but without having to tussle with cracked pavement, mud, bugs, cars, and Princess yanking me along by the leash I'm getting hints of the same kind of zen I used to get doing laps in the pool. Something I wish, wish, wish I could do again, but alas PF has no pool and the closest high school pool only has open swim once a week and it would still be a pain in the patoot to get there. To say nothing of the havoc the chlorine would play on my tender, over-processed hair.

So. I shall continue my quest for treadmill zen. I already told MIL that once I get my iPod and have uploaded the right tunes that I will be going to the gym off-times from our usual workouts to put in some time on the treadmill. I've no interest is doing my regular workout to music. Besides, the whole point of going with MIL is to provide her with some badly needed human contact. Sealing myself inside my music would be rude and mean.

And human contact for MIL is vital. Along with the staggering loss of Gram's company, it turns out that FIL has diagnosed Alzheimer's. Over this winter the vagueness has made huge inroads on FIL. Seeing him once a week or so I hadn't really noticed except that he seemed quieter and less combative than before, but MIL says it's getting bad fast. Yesterday we talked a bit about the future and what FIL's disappearing into the Alzheimer's hell will mean for her, but she's not ready to make any definite plans. After the sadness with Gram MIL isn't playing ostrich as she had with her mom, but since FIL is still able to use the bathroom regularly and hasn't taken to wandering off she's playing it by ear.

Damn! Why do such difficult and painful things always seem to happen to nice people? Maybe it sounds cold, but I'm not overly sorry for FIL. The man was a prick. So far his drift has made him child-like and fairly docile and I can't be anything but relieved since this makes MIL's life easier. But he is going to deteriorate in far more unpleasant ways and MIL will have to deal with it. And him. And the mess and worry and heartbreak. The best I can do is be an ally and an ear.

Is it terrible of me to hope that FIL's decline is swift and relatively muss-free? Sometimes Alzheimer's patients can linger on for years and years, perfectly sound of body and totally gone of mind while their caretakers wear themselves out with having to tend and feed and diaper and keep a constant vigil to prevent the gone one from coming to any harm.

So not fair.

Send the good thought, would you? ~LA

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