hospice again

After posting every day in January, I haven’t been posting very much since. Unfortunately, my mom, known here as Nana, over the last few weeks has had increasing symptoms from her congestive heart failure. We have been able to ameliorate some of them, but she is sleeping more and eating less, having more trouble walking and getting short of breath more frequently.

Last week, Nana was approved to go back into hospice care. They will become part of her care team at the skilled nursing unit, so she won’t need to move again and so my dad can hop on his scooter and visit her whenever he likes. [Backstory is that Nana was under hospice care for fifteen months and then de-certified in October. She moved into skilled nursing at their continuing care community, as she could not stay at Mercy House, which is only for those in hospice care.]

We are hoping for as much pain-free and alert time as we can get in these coming weeks. Thank you for all the positive thoughts and prayers you have sent. They help us to stay grounded in this difficult time.

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the end of Just Jot It January 2019

Linda gave the final prompt for this last day of Just Jot It January: “your favorite thing/part/blog post of last year or last month.” I thought I would write two brief responses.

My favorite blog thing for the last month is that I actually managed to post every day this month. Given that my posting has been so sporadic for so long, this feels like an accomplishment. Bonus: It means that I am writing again, which had definitely fallen by the wayside over the last couple of years. I even have managed to write a few poems recently. Can I keep it up? Probably not the posting every day part, but I’m hoping to carve out some writing/revising time on a regular basis.

My favorite in-person thing of the last month was the return of daughter E and granddaughter ABC from their four week visit with our son-in-law L in London UK . Sometimes in the past when ABC travelled, she would not immediately want to come to us, but this time she broke into a big smile, called out to us, and wanted hugs and kisses. This gives me hope that, when she and E re-locate permanently to the UK later this year, we will be able to keep our relationship alive via videochat. I knew this was possible if chats happened on a daily basis; ABC definitely knows that L is her daddy when they videochat. I doubt we will be able to orchestrate daily calls once they are all together in London, but it seems that weekly ones may be enough to keep us in ABC’s memory bank.

Thanks to Linda for Just Jot It January and thanks to all the other participants! Write on!
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Join us for Just Jot It January! Today’s pingback link is here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/31/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-31st/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/

New “About” page

Why, yes, I am using Just Jot It January to catch up on things I have been meaning to do, such as start a new blog series and create a new About page.
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Join us for Just Jot It January! Today’s pingback link is here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/28/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-28th/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/

JC’s Confessions #1

On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert does a recurring skit, now a best-selling book, called Midnight Confessions, in which he “confesses” to his audience with the disclaimer that he isn’t sure these things are really sins but that he does “feel bad about them.” While Stephen and his writers are famously funny, I am not, so my JC’s Confessions will be somewhat more serious reflections, but they will be things that I feel bad about. Stephen’s audience always forgives him at the end of the segment; I’m not expecting that – and these aren’t really sins – but comments are always welcome.
~ JC

Given that this is the first in what is meant to be a series of posts, I thought it should be a confession that relates to blogging.

So, I confess that, at a time when I have not been a model blogger for months on end, I am trying to start a blog series of my own. To illustrate how slowly my blogging-wheels have been turning, I had the idea to do this over a year ago and wrote the above introduction, which is meant to recur each time I post a confession, last May. It’s been sitting in my drafts folder until I dragged it out to be today’s Just Jot It January post.

And to illustrate how I am not being a model blogger, while I have been posting every day in January, thanks to Just Jot It January and a bit of a stubborn streak, I have not been following through as one should. I think I have only visited all the other blogs that posted one day this month, and a few others haphazardly here and there. With the time constraints of care-taking/daily life, I have been using my limited blogging time for writing posts and responding to comments, leaving little time for reading and commenting on others’ blogs, and for that I am very sorry.

JC’s Confessions is not meant to be a bloggers-join-in series, like Linda Hill‘s Just Jot It January, One-Liner Wednesdays, or Stream of Consciousness Saturdays, although people could choose to do their own “confessions”, if they were so moved.

How long will it be before I post a second installment in this series? With luck, soon…

PS In deference to today’s JusJoJan prompt, I will point out that confessions are often cathartic.
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Join us for Just Jot It January! Today’s pingback link is here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/27/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-27th/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/

return

So now my daily participation with Just Jot It January just got more challenging by a factor of two, but I couldn’t be happier! Daughter E and granddaughter ABC arrived safely yesterday evening after four weeks in London. Given the long day and the five hours of jet lag, they are both adjusting to being back quite well.

ABC was away for her nineteenth month and grew another inch while she was gone. She added more words, including a couple words of Tagalog. She is also pronouncing some of her older words more clearly. She clearly remembered us and the house – and her toys. She has been in quite a good mood, especially given that not only is there jet lag but she is also just getting over a cold.

The house is undoubtedly livelier than it has been. With more demands on my time, I’ll have to re-double my efforts to continue to post every day.

Can I do it?

Stay tuned…
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Join us for Just Jot It January! Today’s pingback link is here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/14/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-14th/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/

Why Top of JC’s Mind?

When I wrote about Just Jot It January on New Year’s Day, I said that I didn’t usually use the #JusJoJan prompts from Linda’s blog except for One-Liner Wednesdays and Stream of Consciousness Saturdays, but I decided to set aside what I had planned to post today in favor of Linda’s prompt, which was to write about your blog.

What blogger would ignore the chance to write about their own blog?

I started blogging after several friends suggested that I should. At the time, I was writing a lot of comments on articles about fracking as part of the fight against fracking in my home state of New York, our neighbor Pennsylvania, and in the US and around the world. I also would post on Facebook about a range of other topics, including feminism, progressive politics, and (also progressive) Catholicism. I knew I couldn’t contain myself to write about just one topic, so I decided to be eclectic and name my blog Top of JC’s Mind. I set up on WordPress in September 2013.

I am not particularly tech-savvy and hadn’t really studied blogging, so I didn’t know what I was doing at first. I learned a lot from Opinionated Man and through him, connected with our beloved Linda. While never one to obsess about stats, for a while, I managed to spend a considerable amount of time on blogging – writing my own posts, reading other blogs, and writing comments. I was slowly but steadily gaining followers and enjoyed reading a number of blogs on a regular basis.

Then, life happened and I wound up in maximum sandwich generation mode without much time or mind leftover for proper blogging etiquette.

While I have kept Top of JC’s Mind alive over these past many months, I haven’t been able to read or comment at anywhere near the rate that I used to. I am very grateful to the stalwarts who continue to visit Top of JC’s Mind, even though I only sporadically visit them.

Linda asked in her prompt for today if blogging had changed your life and I think it has. I have met and interacted with many people, both bloggers and commenters, that I would not have otherwise. It has also encouraged me to write more often and given me a platform for sharing poetry. I started blogging near the beginning of my re-engaging as a poet after not having written for decades, so the two writing disciplines have intertwined.

While I think that blogging has changed my life, my life has also changed my blogging. I didn’t think I would write so often about my family, but, because that is where a lot of my heart and time reside, I have written a lot about them here at Top of JC’s Mind and also in my poetry.

As the political and social divisions here in the United States have intensified over the last several years, I have tried to preserve my blog as a respectful place to exchange ideas. I don’t name-call or slam groups of people; I will, however, delete or edit comments that do because it is important to me to keep Top of JC’s Mind a civil space. I don’t delete comments if someone disagrees with me, but will dialogue in comments and use supporting links for backup, as needed, something I learned to do when I was writing commentary about fracking, renewable energy, and climate change. I admit that I get annoyed when people misunderstand science, misuse statistics, or deny facts and history, so I always try to be as accurate as possible with data and be clear when I am giving opinions.

See what happens when you invite a blogger to write about their blog? They go on and on…

Okay. Time to do categories and tags and hit publish before January 3rd turns into January 4th. Thanks, Linda, for the opportunity.
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Join us for Just Jot It January. Today’s pingback link is here: https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/02/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-3rd/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/

Just Jot It January

Happy New Year!

Linda is once again spearheading Just Jot It January. Bloggers write a post or something every day (or as often as they can manage) and link back to her blog so we can connect with one another. There are usually prompts on Linda’s blog for those who want to use them, but I most often venture off on my own, other than Linda’s year-round One-Liner Wednesdays and Stream of Consciousness Saturdays when I will go with the flow.

I have participated in Just Jot It January before, and have even managed to post every day some years. 2019 may not be my year to post every day, but I will try to post as often as I can. I hope to do some catch-up posts from 2018, as I was often too busy with my “sandwich generation” duties to get posts out.

Fingers crossed.

Stay tuned!
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Join us for Just Jot It January. Today’s pingback link is here: https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/01/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-1st/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/