Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Slither is dead....long live the Slither Posted by Hello

It is with sorrow that I write these words, tonight the very last Slither is being held and I am not taking part in the historic event. For over 20 years the Slither has been as much a part of Halloween as carved pumpkins. It began with a handful of ingenious and serious reverlers intent on having an event to remember. They took to the streets of an area of Louisville called Germantown which can boast of having a bar on every conor and then some! As the years progressed the numbers who joined the ranks swelled. We Slither twice a year, on the eve of the Kentucky Derby and the Halloween weekend.

The streets of Germantown are generally quiet, being a blue collar area. On Halloween when the masses take to the streets, it becomes an noisy phenomenon of fifty to seventy unruly dressed up frolicking idiots. The theme changes from year to year.

All good things must come to an end...Or at least that is what they tell us. The organizers of the annual event, one of which is my BIL, have concluded are in need to pass the torch to an younger generation. And as of today, there were no takers. Such a sad ending to a spectacular and highly anticipated event.

I think there is time......When the Derby draws near and reality knocks someone will step up and take control. Something as precious as the origin of the Mother of all hangovers has got to live on!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Dad was released from the hospital today. I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all your prayers and well wishes. They worked. All the tests are inconclusive. He was prescribed an additional Alzheimer's medication, new on the market in January. Hopefully it will slow down the rampant decline of the past week. He is home and I will sleep peacefully this night as our Angel Genie is spending the night with Mom to help out.


Zorro (this is the name I have decided to use for my husband) had had enough of the squirrels getting into the attic through the aging air ducts on the roof. He decides they need to be replaced. Seemed easy enough, a trip to Home Depot and a ladder. Mission accomplished! The squirrels were even impressed with his Handy man work.

It rained this weekend. I was in the back of the kitchen when I noticed the ceiling looking ....well, like it was sagging a little. What the heck? Zorro was looking at it with me and he tentatively poked at it with his finger and a chunk of it fell on us, followed by a stream of water.

Being the good wife I am (I have learned quickly a thing or two....I liked being a smart ass girl friend, but I love being a wife more) so I kept my mouth shut. Upon examination of the roof, directly above the disaster, was the new air duct! Biting my tongue, I sigh.

Then I get a terrific idea, "Why don't we call the Monkey Brothers!!!!"

I'll be darned if they did not show up this morning while I was at work! Dang! Zorro said they had split up. Several of them went to Florida for the $35 an hour labor work. Those that remained did so because they are family men with responsibilities. "I have two children with another on the way." Said MB # 1. MB # 2 played with the dog in the neighbors back yard while MB # 1 borrowed back our ladder from our next door neighbor (drumming up another job no doubt)! MB # 2 sounded like Boomhauser from KING OF THE HILL. Zorro did not understand one thing he said except the tail end of the estimate..." MMMM....garble garble garble, BBADDDDD, garble garble garble......MMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmm, aaahhhhhhhh.... $200"

Two hours later, MD #1 had the roof fixed. They will be back to give us an estimate for the ceiling inside. I'm going to kill Zorro if he does not call me!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Colorful in Dowtown Louisville Posted by Hello

One of my favorite Gallway shots...have to send a favorite the first time! Posted by Hello

I went to the hospital and stayed with my Dad till about 830pm. The doctor came in and briefed Mom and myself. They can not find out why he is having these episodes. On the CAT scans, the MRI's, the blood work, the urine tests, the Dopler (looking at his neck veins) all all inconclusive. Prehaps the technology is not sophisticated enough to detect the strokes he is experiencing. There is just no explanation at this point. Only a result of his increased and accelerated deterioration.

It is so sad. I am falling apart on the inside. People ask me how he is, and I have a litaney oth things...he is failing, he is almost 85, he is shutting down, he has dementia, his heart is very slow...and the doctors can tell us nothing and give us no hope.

We will take him home and then make some decisions. My Mother can not care for him on her own. My sister is adament to not place him in a nursing home. Yet, who looks after him when Mom needs a break? Not her, its me.

Who runs over to the house when Dad has slipped out of the chair, or she needs help of any sort...not her, its me.

I love my Dad. I am so ashamned of myself for not being able to handle this better.

Monday, October 25, 2004


And it has a name, dementia. It is like holding on to my father by the fingertips as he dangles over a cliff. The grip is slipping little by little until he lets go.

He is back in the hospital. Almost two days at home, from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. My sister and SIL were visiting from Louisville doing yard work etc. When 4pm rolled around, they could not wake him up. The angels always are protecting my family. The traveling nurse was making her visit. She called our family doctor who instructed us to call 911.

His heart rate was so low. This morning it was 47.

And he is hallucinating...or has entirely lost his grip. Last week it was okay, he recognized my Aunt, his sister. "Tell me something about myself". She demanded of him, "You're loony" he threw back (much to the amusement of my mother).

Anyway, please keep us in your prayers and thoughts.

Friday, October 22, 2004


I don't understand how much of myself I really want to publish in Alphawoman. By understand, I mean the motivation. My handwritten, old fashion diary is lying on the floor of my vehicle. I enjoy this medium a lot. The only problem is, how much. In MLIAOB (which no one but me reads) it is simple. No one has any idea who I am. In ALphawoman, there is the possibility that people so know. Zorro may have told people about it when I was the top dog for a week and I now have peepers. My hit counter way out shines my comments....oh well.

The point being is that Dad is very ill and I don't like how I feel about it. I help out, I am there, but it is so painful to see your Dad become a stranger to you. The last really good concersations I had with Pop would have been 10 years ago. He has been fading for a long time. Every birthday, every Christmas I think will be my last with him.

We brought him home from the hospital today. Mom, Pat and myself. He was over medicated from a sleeping pill and as always (anymore) very uncommunicative. Two priests came and prayed for him, gave him a blessing, and laid hands on him.

I do not want my Dad to suffer anymore. I do not think he is in much pain. But he is reduced to wearing diapers, not being able to wash himself, can not talk, we will have to begin to puree his food because chewing is difficult, his medication must now be crushed and given to him in applesause. I do not want this for my dad. My Pop. The first man I ever loved! I do not want him to be reduced to this lump who watches tv and has only rare moments of lucidity.

I want my Dad back and it is not ever again going to happen until I meet him in heaven. I do not want to see my Mother reduced to role of caregiver/keeper/nurse. I do not want to see every dime they have saved go to a 24 hour a day nurse. Just to give him the care to have an existence of a shell of flesh.

I know that these thoughts are going to haunt me when he does go. I love my Dad.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


I changed the name of my blog. I have Mary Mary on an AOL blog that I use for my photoblog....or at least I attempt to have a photo journal. I thought up this name several days ago, but I do not want to start a Fifth journal! Yes a fifth! Crazy. I have one private blog that I use to experiment with. So, I thought I would just change the name of this one.

I am next going to learn how to upload pictures, join a blog circle (what the hell is that) and then learn how to do the good stuff to personalize my blog. When I posted pictures to my MMQC for the Friday challenge, I received 100 hits in less than 24 hours! Can you believe it!

Last night was something else. I woke up when Joe crashed into bed with me. (From this date forward Joe is going to be Zorro). I awoke when Zorro crashed into bed with me. I tossed and turned for sometime before deciding to go to the rest room. I noticed that he had left on the tv. When I had eliminated the white noise of the end of the DVD going through its loop I heard it...water! I walked into the kitchen with trepidation and saw took a few moments to register. Along with the smell and the sense of being in a sauna.

Zorro had turned on the water, presumaly to soak the dishes, and walked off. I had little idea how long it had been running, but the hot water was depleted. The counter flooded, the floor was awash in an eight foot puddle. I turned it off, grabbed plenty of towels once I realized a mop was not going to clean this mess up. I realized it was in the drawer too...Then the cupboard. The pots and pans under the counter were filled, as it they had been set under drips from the ceiling.

A total ugly smelly hot house mess. I cleaned it up to a respectful mess....jumped on the computer in the kitchen for awhile, then went back to bed. Where I tossed and turned for another hour...falling asleep close to 330am having to rise at 5am.

Ugly. Zorro was contrite. The sleepwalking dishwashing fool. I left him struggling with removing the saturated flooring of the cupboards, muttering about buying a circular saw. The vision of him slicing a hand off in my imagination made me rush out of the house!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Isn't it disconcerting that life can seem to be almost perfect, everything falling into place, the very rhythm's of daily life become predictable, reassuring and safe. Suddenly, out of nowhere the monstrous bird of change swoops down and hands you a special delivery announcement!

This has happened to Joe and I. Several things compounded last week to make it a week that we won't ever forget. Joes job is being eliminated. The end of November is the last day the office will be open, then it will be run from a Central location.

We do have some options. Actually, I do not think we have discovered all the options as of yet. The most sparkly and enticing is to follow his job and move to Atlanta. I have yet to sit down and make a list of the pro's and con's for this. I am excited at the prospect of new adventures, a new set of surroundings, new opportunities, escape from doldrums of existence in central Kentucky. On the other hand, my family is here. Bridget would die without me! My Mom and Dad! Joes children! Then again.....Atlanta!

Of course there are other options. I'm scared. Then I'm exhilarated! Then I'm scared again. I have always been the type of person who can accept things and make the best of them. The biggest problem here will be those we have to leave behind.

The other options are not so invigorating!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


I got up very early this morning because I thought I may have a 6am meeting (yes, I was in shock for a long time regarding the barbaric hour that go along with this job). The meeting is not until next week, so I took the opportunity for an early morning swing by Keeneland Race track to watch the horses in their morning work outs.

A stunning sunrise. I am tempted to gush on about it, but I will just let the pictures tell the story. As I watched transfixed, I thought there is not an artist living or dead who could come close to this masterpiece.

Of course not. This one had God's signature on it.

Sunday, October 10, 2004


Of the many reasons that the South is a wonderful place to live, the Civil War Reenactments has got to have a place close to the top. Now I know that the rest of the world think that those of us who live south of the Mason Dixon marry our cousins then settle down to raise our little Frank and Jesse's. Then we build our fortunes growing marijuana, brewing moonshine and raising thoroughbred horses. Sometimes we go crazy and become land developers and chop up great grand pappies farm and sell it on five acre lots. When we want to relax, we hop into our trucks and go to the horse track for some gambling. We smoke a lot of cigarettes. We eat a lot of fried foods. Then we go to church and vote Republican.

Well, some of that is true.............But the stereotype I like the best is the one where we don't concede that we lost the Civil War. Every county that had a battle fought during the war reenacts that battle every year. It is a huge thriving business, this Civil War stuff.

And great fun. Where else can you sit on the side lines and watch men fight each other with swords on horseback? Or see a canon shot out a huge O ring? Or see and hear living history? Reach out and touch personal things that belonged to someone long ago forgotten? Or are they.

The Battle of Perryville, which was reenacted today, was fought in 1862. History tells that over 60,000 Union and Confederate soldiers met in the Perryville area both seeking water. The bloodiest battle fought in the South ensued upon their meeting. Over 7500 casualties resulted. The most mind boggling fact about all this is that 300 homes around this area were used as hospitals to treat the injured and dying.

It was a beautiful day. I wonder what they day was like in 1862?

Thursday, October 07, 2004


I have always been the designated driver. I am always the appointed chauffeur. It is assumed and taken for granted that I do the driving in this family. In Ireland when he had to assume the role, it was a major problem. Hence, the extra grey hairs, the new swear words and the kissing of the ground at the Return Car Rental Area. It was the same in Boston. It began with me driving off into the night after our flight arrived at Logan around midnight, happy and naive, sporting the glad to be alive attitude. I paid the toll and as I approached the tunnel I realized the twelve lanes were merging into four and that I was being squeezed and had no idea which lane I needed to be in......Then the screaming began.....Well, do you all remember that scene from "Clueless" when she inadvertently enters the LA Freeway? It was very much like that. The Boston experience will have to remain in my memory treasure chest for another time....This entry is about Louisville Friday night.

The Octoberfest at one time was a great event in Louisville. When I lived there in the 1980's it was held in a section of Louisville known as Butchertown. An empty lot was fenced in and the vendors set up booths, a stage was built for the center piece and a tent was erected for Duckdancing and other polka type dances the Germans love. Back in the '80's I could go and actually run into people I knew. But that was a long time ago before the world changed.

Now it is being held on Fourth Street downtown. It seemed like a fun place to check out, so Joe and I went down there. I expected to stay a couple of hours eating, watching Joe throw back a couple of beers, Duckdancing all that great Octoberfest activities. The festival was spread out over the block between Broadway and Chestnut with the stage at the far end. The closeness that the fenced in lot had and the compradery that it demanded was missing at Fourth street. The enchanting quality was gone. I threw back my one beer and settled in for people watching. Joe wanted to leave.

So we left.

I am the designated driver for several reasons. The most important is that Joe drinks much faster than I do. The result of that is that he has to go to the bathroom about five times as many times as I do. I think he was tiny tanks. I know every bathroom pit stop from Mass to Florida. I know most of them in Ireland, for the love of God! It begins with Joe saying "You better start looking for a stop." Friday night I quipped back, "Is it code orange?" He replied, "It feels more like a yellow."

A minute later, IT'S RED, IT'S RED !!!! I am use to this frantic tone and know when its serious, and it sounded serious. I pulled over on a side road that runs alongside the Waterworks and I darted into the main drive way. To both sides of us was a large concrete retaining wall with huge columns at the entrance, Joe ducked behind one of them.

He must have really had to go, because he was back there for a long time.....and then the police officer pulled up next to me. I panicked.....Flashback to the 1970's......My heart was pounding and I was ineffectively trying to roll down my window, which is electronic! I could only think about the beer I had drank 15 minutes ago. My professional life was passing before my eyes. I finally wrenched open the car door and almost fell out, "Are you okay?" he asked.

All I could think of was, "Peeing in public is a crime", so I said the first thing that popped into my mind, "I pulled over to use my cell phone!", he nodded and drove through the iron gate that opened for him. Joe hops into the car, "That was a close one." he says.

It took five minutes for my heart to stop pounding. The '70's ruined me.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The first weekend of October finally arrives! I look forward to it like a child looking forward to Christmas morning. It is the weekend of the St. James Court Art Show held in a section of the city known as old Louisville. 700 artists come from all over the United States to show off their art. It is a visual kaleidoscope of mind blowing proportions. I spent way too much money and had an absolute blast doing it.

My favorite was an artist from Micanopy, Florida, Sandra L. Russell, who had the most unusual photo's on display. She has an old style Polaroid that takes several minutes to develop the picture. While it is setting up, she uses a hooked needle to manipulate the colors! The effect is very Van Gogh-esque. Then I fell in love with the art work of a women who works with textures combining photos, fabric, knick-knacks, what-nots into collages and shadow boxes. Very interesting.

I spoke at some length with Ms. Russell about her photography, computer programs etc. I have the Photoshop program which I installed some three months ago and have not taken the time to experiment with it. She encouraged me to delve into it and discover the mysteries of photo manipulation! The above collage is my first try. As you can see, we spent the day eating and drinking......a lot.

The weekend passed so quickly!

Monday, October 04, 2004


I had the greatest weekend! So many things happened that I am going to get at least three entries out of it! I TOLD Joe that I was going to blog about our Friday night escapade and he did not I took that as consent!

I spent a lot of time with my lovely daughter Bridget. We went to Impellizzeri's Pizza on Bardstown Rd in Louisville. We spent a long time waiting on our dinner and a pizza to go ,( the price you pay for going to a 15 table five star pizza joint) and I found out my daughter has a pen fetish!

Take a look at all the pens she pulled out of her purse! I kid you not! Half of the space in her purse was taken up with her obsession! The family at the table next to ours could not get over it either!

Aren't her teeth beautiful! ($5,000 dollars later! )