Wednesday, January 29, 2014


This morning we made an almost-no-sweetener-added blueberry and cream cheese pie, chilling for later, in addition to a salad and fish for lunch.  Also had bath, shampoo, and linen change.  Met with Elizabeth, the attendant agency supervisor, about adding on 1.5 hours of Tammicare per week as authorized by DADS, and with her came a volunteer coordinator who is going to find someone that will help me sort through boxes and papers, clear out this place.  Have done my budget for next month (squeaking by kindasorta), and can now focus elsewhere for the afternoon.
Last night I discovered among new records being made available online is the death certificate of Author Atkins, the man who raised my mother and was her beloved Daddy.  I was startled to discover that although, yes, he died of pulmonary failure, it was not from CHF as I had thought but instead was lung metastases from GI carcinoma.  She often told me about sitting up with him at night, when he could not sleep from gasping and coughing, as he took months to die during her 16th year.  It must have been a worse death than I had imagined.  Marked her for life and perhaps accounts for some of her fatalism toward health issues.
Even more shocking, I discovered they (Author, Sook, Mama, and her adoptive brothers) lived not in Stoneburg but in Fort Worth during 1931-32.  When I ran across this city directory, it sparked a vague memory of Mama talking about the Christmas when she was 5 years old and they were in Fort Worth, but I had filed this away as a visit.  Instead, Author found work as a flagman for the Rock Island Railroad and they lived in a small frame house (2 bedrooms and a detached bathroom) a couple of blocks from the rail line.  On further searching, I found the house is still standing, built in 1915, and I snagged a photo of it.
I ache to show it to her and ask what memories it evokes.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Today is frozen and gently grieving.  We have chosen to cook here at Casa de Jochild.  We are trying out the Jamie Oliver method of cooking chicken in milk with modifications suggested here and by a couple of friends who have tried it.  We added a dozen pearl onions to the milk, and deleted the cinnamon stick because we didn't have one.  It has turned out a beautiful result.
We used the leftover olive oil/butter from searing the chicken to fry my breakfast home fries, and those were extremely good.  And while the oven was on, we split a head of garlic, soaked it in olive oil and roasted it as well, to be saved in even more olive oil as our basic low-heat cooking oil.This house now smells like a garlic press.
Nursing visit postponed until Thursday because of icy roads.  I have more HHS forms to fill out and social service clarification calls to make that I am dragging my heels about because I am so fucking tired of begging and justifying my right to a poverty level of existence.  Think I’ll just eat chicken and listen to  Pete Seeger for a while.