Monday, March 2, 2009


I graded papers for more than 12 hours on Sunday. That's what I get for not piecing them out and grading in small chunks over the course of several days.

Instead, on Friday I went to see my 8-year-old neice in a musical extravaganza about immigration. A highlight: a little blonde 8-year-old girl holding a suitcase and singing about being a mail order bride.

My mom came with us all too and enjoyed it. I like to have a good time with her while we can because her Alzheimer's is definitely advancing. She's getting frustrated because she can't do things she used to be able to do, like dial a phone. I remind her that the people at the front desk where she lives can help her out. It's why she lives where she lives so she can always get assistance when she needs it. We are very lucky in that way, I realize. Many people cannot afford an assisted living community, much less one that is as nice as Mom's. I call it our beautiful hell.

Saturday Annie, our friend Sharon and I went on a killer hike up in the Santa Cruz mountains. The only one who wasn't tired at the end was our little dog Max, whom we also call Winky because he often does just that. In fact, we caught him winking in this picture.

I also spent too much of the weekend reading Isabele Allende's new memoir, The Sum of Our Days. I'm too wiped out from paper-grading to write a decent review, but suffice it to say, I loved every word. How that woman can make me laugh in the middle of a story about death and chaos amazes me.

Tomorrow Aimee Bender will be on our campus. Looking forward to finally meeting her. I've read all her work and think she's a surprising, special writer.


Holli said...

What a great post...thank you! Its nice to hear about your life and what you do....makes me smile to read happy events in other people's lives :)

Collin Kelley said...

Love that photo of you and Winky. Adding Allende's book to my ever-growing stack.

Lisa Nanette Allender said...

Hi there, Kate!
"...laugh in the middle of a story about death and chaos."
You possess that gift, too, Kate.
I loved your comment "Our Beautiful Hell" re. your Mom's Assisted Living.You help me smile, even when the subject matter is a bit dark. ;)
Love "Winky", too! Sweet doggie!

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Hi Winky. I'll have to get that book, sounds good. Please tell Arlene that I frequently ask about her and send my love. Whenever, I send an email, she feels obligated to write back and I can tell she gets frustrated. I would have liked to have seen the play, is that H?

kdjameson said...

Hey there Kate! Regarding your mom - when my step mother developed Alzheimer's and couldn't dial the phone, my stepsister bought a phone with extra large buttons and programmed it for speed dialing. Then she created icons and photos of family members that were pasted onto each button. So, if she had to press 2 to speed dial her grandson, his photo was on the 2 button. Worked pretty well as I recall.


Ruefle said...

hi, i just chanced to stop by your blog, and it seems that you wrote a poetry book!
i'm only an amateur, not really heading anywhere much, but i would love read your poems for inspiration. :]

Brandon said...

I can definitely empathize. My grandmother has dementia.