Something fishy in the snack bucket

This was the special preschool snack today.  The individual "fish tanks" had raisins for gravel, blue caramel corn for water, goldfish crackers, and veggie sticks for seaweed.  Pretty cute.

Things are looking fishy all over the school.  This week we painted the fired clay fish with liquid watercolors mixed with metallic temperas.  The seven to nine year olds were not totally thrilled when I limited their paint choices to analogous colors, but the results got them excited.

When we made the fish we spread the red plastic mesh bags from cherry tomatoes and rolled it into the clay with rolling pins.  The results were very scaly.

On a side subject, it's annoying that it's become so difficult to use images from Photobucket on Blogger now.  Last night I was almost ready to publish my jellyfish post, and there was an incompatibility issue between the photos and formats.  I finally had to delete
the post and start over, losing all the links I'd included.
Blogging is so simple now with widgets and toolbars, that it's a surprise when something doesn't work.  When was the last time you had to stick your arm down in a slimy bucket of HTML code to fish out an opening tag missing its closing tag?

Speaking of slimy buckets, Dad's room now has three breathing gizmos, thanks to hospice.  There's the basic oxygen machine that looks like the old dehumidifier from the  basement in Lincoln, except for the tube and nostril attachment.  Dad uses oxygen at night now, and doesn't fight it too much.  Then there's a nebulizer for breathing treatments, but fancier than my sons' old asthma machine.  Creepiest, in the back corner there's a gizmo for suctioning Dad's lungs after a breathing treatment.  Like those fancy vacuum cleaners with the clear cannisters, you can see what gets sucked out.

Sometimes when Dad survives one of his coughing fits, I say "Roman Hruska".  Phlegm always reminds me of the name of the former U.S. senator from Nebraska.  On duty visits my Democrat parents would get into intense discussions with my emphysemic Republican granddad when I was a kid.  That's when we would escape and take long walks in dry, hot, windy McCook, up past Senator George W. Norris's house.  My parents had great respect for Norris's integrity. 

Once I have heard the Hruska coughing gurgle, I go off on mental missions searching for the names of other Nebraska politicians.  Thank heaven for Google, so I can find Terry Carpenter and Carl Curtis and not have to wonder at three a.m.

After the blue popcorn and a fire drill, we had a special guest at school today.  The author of a book about monarch butterflies came to read.  Better than that, she brought us a real monarch chrysalis expected to open Sunday or Monday.  The chrysalis should turn black when it is closer to opening.  Right now it looks like a jade and gold jewel.

  The photo is quite enlarged.  The real chrysalis was about 5/8" from top to bottom.  The chrysalis is inside a butterfly tent for the weekend.  Sure hope the monarch waits until Monday to emerge.  We are still watching for changes in the mystery chrysalis on the playground fence.

Preschool is all about living things and life cycles in the spring.  A student brought a tiny live grasshopper in a plastic Gerber Junior Foods container with some mud in the bottom and one hole in the lid.  The 5/8" grasshopper had been in the container about 48 hours according to the mom.  Our lead teacher explained solemnly to the students that grasshoppers need food and air, and that they want to be outside with their families.  Go ahead, she nodded to me, the grasshopper needs air desperately so open the box.  I popped the lid, and the grasshopper was out on my lap, under my hand, then onto the rug, and the kids were jumping up ready to rush the grasshopper and crash into each other.  The child who brought the grasshopper was wailing.  Our lead teacher was trying to calm everybody and catch the bug in a paper cup then leading the child outside to release it into the wild just after an impromptu photo shoot. 

I held up the next Show And Tell item, a book of Sleeping Beauty and Other Princess Fairy Tales with gold lettering.  The book's owner selected her favorite page, and I began reading the first paragraph about the king with seven sons and one daughter and their mother died and the king remarried and the new queen wanted to get rid of the children so she sent the daughter far, far away and turned the sons into swans.  Holy crap!  What next?

In the afternoon I had a "care plan" conference call with the director, social worker, dietitian, activities director, and nurse coordinator of Dad's facility plus the hospice social worker and pastor. Don't know why the hairdresser wasn't invited.  We worked out problems with the contact phone numbers that have been goofed up since Dad was admitted, and a billing problem. Dad has lost sixteen pounds in three months, but his oxygen saturation level is back above 90% since his respiratory infection. Dad let the pastor play jazz for him and the social worker read his letters. All of them said having the names and locations of family members posted on Dad's wall helps as a talking point in their visits. I added more names, and Dad is studying them while he eats. Thank heaven for Scotch Removable Poster Tape, one thing that does make my life simpler!  Much of the week he's been hollering for my sons to come downstairs and adjust the heat in his room.  It's eighty-three degrees outside, hot, windy, dusty like McCook, with a heavy dose of pollen. 

After visiting Dad, I've come home most evenings to work on a piece for the celebration of Felecia's life tomorrow. It seems right that the memorial will be outside in a park, a bring-your-own-lawnchair affair. Actually standing up to read my little eulogy terrifies me, although I'm comfortable with my composition.

Walked down to the creek to take a stab at serenity. Daffodils were blooming. A leafwing butterfly played peek-a-boo. Three mallard drakes were having a boys club swim meeting by the storm sewer drain. Followed a slow-moving fresh swallowtail

from weed to weed. It landed to feed, and sat still enough long enough for a photo.

A green anole rose up from a nearby log. How dare this butterfly invade his space? 

Still processing this roller coaster week, and that requires writing.  Good phone calls with sons, thoughtful treats from friends.  Bad nights coughing with itchy lungs and long lists squirreling in my head.  Too many three a.m.s.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.

© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

What a week. Thank you for filling us in with these details, the good and the bad. Oh, how I love the snack bag. Oh, how I feel for you and your dad.


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