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27 July 2009 @ 05:24 pm
Back, in body if not in spirit...  
As you might have noticed, I wasn't as "gone" as I expected over my vacation. I was able to leech someone's wireless at my Dad's house, and my sister has wireless in Portland, so I kept up with the birthday-fic postings and my f-list pretty well. That's a first!

We drove home Sunday (originally planned to come home today), not as relaxed or well-rested as we'd hoped, unfortunately. HalfshellHusband did well over our trip, and had enough energy to do most of what he wanted to in small bursts (with naps). But the trip was colored by his mother going into the hospital again for mild pneumonia, and my Dad finding out he has a lung tumor. *headdesk* By comparison, the flailing on Thursday night over discovering that one of the cats was locked in the garage (and no-one in Sacramento had a key), during a stint of 105o heat was minor. *sigh*

My MIL's pneumonia is actually a big deal. Her lung function has been dropping since her last bout with it in January, and with her emphysema and the cumulative damage from the pneumonia, she's on the road to the end. It may not be this week or this month, but she probably doesn't have a year left at this point, and she was very tired in general before the illness. She can't get enough oxygen anymore (even constantly plugged in to the cannister) to have the energy to do much. She has to budget her "excursions" and even her visitors, and it's all just worrisome and sad. Not for her, I think-- she's ready, and she's had a good life-- but for her children and grandchildren. I know HSH was relieved to be home and able to visit her today, because he was terribly afraid she might die without warning while we were away. I hate where this is leading. I know she's 88, but it still seems too soon. :(

I can hardly absorb what to think about my Dad's tumor, with everything else that's going on. It seems to be near the "side" of the lung, and I believe the current plan is to remove that part of the lung and stitch things up, and possibly start chemo. I really hope the chemo isn't necessary (Dad's 83), but there's probably no way to know yet.

Both my M-I-L and my Dad were smokers, and even though they quit many years ago... neither of them escaped the "final judgment" from it. Those of you who smoke, please, please quit. You won't want either of these things in your future, and your friends and family don't want it for you either!

Shifting onto the happy: high points of the vacation included two trips to the Lively Swim Center for the kids, Monster Cookies (probably too many, but I LOVE them and can only get them in the Eugene area!), visits with the Portland sisters who couldn't get down to Eugene at Xmas, my two nieces (who are sweeter and prettier than ever), my younger sister's now-boyfriend (we'd just met him a year ago, but things are wonderfully solid now), Oaks Park, the Portland Zoo, Saturday Market (Portland), Powell's Books, the new Harry Potter movie, and several runs at Tryon Creek.

The only exercise day I missed was the Sunday we drove back, and my feet held up well for the running/walking/etc. Thank goodness my sister still has that elliptical trainer, AND this time I didn't make the mistake of blowing out my quads on the downhills the first day, so the running was better.

I borrowed Wicked: The Life And Times Of The Wicked Witch Of The West from my niece, and what a fantastic book that was. The AU approach to canon, and then where it joins up near the end of the story, made me think of fanfic for obvious reasons. So many interesting ideas and tricks used in the telling of that story. Too adult for our kids, though. :0

So now I'm trying to get settled into being back home and at work again (boo), still working on the combined Sam/Dean story I'm writing for esorlehcar and deirdre_c, hoping to god that Nerds On Call can retrieve my data off the other PC that crashed about a month ago. The one with all the kid pictures on it! *sniff*

Were you good while I was gone?

brigid_tannerbrigid_tanner on July 28th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
How's the cat that was locked in the garage?

Sorry to hear about your dad and MIL's problems. My grandfather smoked for a long time, and although he quit probably 15 years before he died, the COPD that contributed to his death was cause of the smoking. So glad it's a habit I never picked up.

I LOVED the new Harry Potter! Can't wait for the last 2 movies. The kids are growing up so cute. My nephew has had a crush on Emma Watson since they were both about 12. I'd love to visit Powell's. Been using them on-line for years and I'm amazed by their stock. Would enjoy getting to wander the store and see what I could find.

Sounds like you had a good time, overall. Welcome home!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 28th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
The cat is fine-- she's very affectionate (clingy) and playful, which is how she tends to be after we're gone. She put quite the attack on a pencil on the sofa tonight, more than I've seen since after we got back from Disneyland. Fortunately, it was only those 2 days. Though the garage door lock is still dismantled, and I'll bet the VISA bill's going to hurt.

My MIL has COPD, which (on top of the emphysema) is why the pneumonia hits her so hard. It's all smoking-related, and SO sad, and she's otherwise very healthy. :(

We saw Harry Potter at the Lake Oswego Cinema, since it's near my sister's house, and it didn't look crowded. It wasn't-- we were the only ones there for the noon matinee, and it's an old-fashioned theatre house. Really neat! I do miss the "random magic" from the earlier movies, though-- the ghosts in the dining hall, the wandering staircases, the talking pictures. That part of the "atmosphere" was one of the things I liked most about the series, and it's virtually gone now.

Powell's is great, though I couldn't quite find what _I_ wanted there. I was looking for a used copy of that Lukyanenko "Night Watch" that has tempted me for awhile (the library doesn't seem to have it). No copies at all, used or otherwise-- just books 2-4 in the series. !o?
Kimberleylampshade_days on July 28th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear about your MIL and father's health troubles, but glad that your vacation had some lovely highlights. I am curious: what are Monster Cookies?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 28th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)
Monster Cookies are a trademarked product made by a Eugene bakery. They're large (about 5-6 inches across), and really good. Back in college, I used to sometimes get the "Rocky Road" ones, but they don't make those anymore. So now I get the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip or Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. Chewy, fresh-tasting, glorious. The kids seem to like the M&M Chocolate Chip or regular Chocolate Chip better, but those don't taste as unusually good to me.

And I would never choose Snickerdoodle (the remaining flavor) over any of those other choices!
happy is as happy does: Dean Winchester is fictional. - SPNhappywriter06 on July 28th, 2009 06:50 am (UTC)
Did you get the cat out?

I'm glad you guys had some bright spots on the trip.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 28th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
We got a 24-hour locksmith (after a lot of flailing) to come over and meet my B-I-L WITHOUT a faxed authorization (seriously-- finding a fax machine after hours in Eugene? Hah!). He dismantled the deadbolt, which is still in pieces in the breezeway, and let the poor cat out. Gah.

We did have fun overall, though it wasn't the relaxation or 'escape' I'd hoped for. Second day back, and I feel like I'm drowning already. :(
When it is darkest, men see the stars.witchofthedogs on July 28th, 2009 10:06 am (UTC)
I'm thinking of you.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 28th, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you. It's been a hard road, with more to come. *sigh*
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on July 28th, 2009 10:07 am (UTC)
I'm sorry about your MIL and your Dad. Just cos someone's old doesn't make the prospect of losing them any easier.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 28th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
It really doesn't. Anyone you love, you'll essentially want to keep forever.
Maerhys: £ perpetual pinkmaerhys on July 28th, 2009 10:19 am (UTC)
*hugs, big hugs*

The rest of the vacation sounds amazing! ♥ ♥ ♥
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 28th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
It was-- it's nice to visit family, and though we don't do the big hiking-in-the-Cascades (boy, I miss that) and are doing stuff to entertain the kids instead, it's still fun.

It was great to see my sister so happy with her boyfriend. They're really great together, and she has deserved someone like him for a really long time, especially after her ex. :0
Entendre? Make mine a double.: holding handsdeirdre_c on July 28th, 2009 11:56 am (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Hughalfshellvenus on July 28th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Dei!
cindy: the dean show - dean with flowertsuki_no_bara on July 28th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC)
i'm so sorry about your mil and your dad. *hugs* i'm glad hsh did well, tho. and it sounds like you had a good trip otherwise.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 29th, 2009 06:47 am (UTC)
My Dad got some better news last night (news of "probably not cancer"), though my MIL may be returning home to a bedridden state, and that really worries me.

*sigh* Give me strength...
Deadbeat Nymphdeadbeat_nymph on July 28th, 2009 03:38 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, that is all so incredibly awful. The things you've had to deal with these past couple of years are mindboggling. How you've managed to deal with it with such grace awes me.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 29th, 2009 06:51 am (UTC)
Thank you, Melanie. I've really felt like I've been drowning the last couple of days, just too much at once.

HSH is overdue for an ECT treatment (and very depressed, plus worried about his Mom), and I feel so weighted down.

And that laptop-- with my pictures of the kids!-- is definitely dead. Looks like nothing is recoverable from it. I've got much of the picture stuff at walgreens.com, and some still on the camera card, but I suspect I've lost about a year's worth of photos, and accepting that is a grieving process in its own.

You can endlessly edit and improve and ship around the digital photos, but I still liked having the negatives, you know? Tried burning a disk of some of them once, but apparently a CD burned by that old laptop was only readable by that same laptop. Talk about lame!