Lots of catching up!
Wow! Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do. Where to begin... Hmmm…
Well, I still have the bat. He’s thriving, that little dude. I had been handfeeding him every night, which took about an hour, but I recently taught him how to eat out a Petri dish. That’s a good thing because I was getting nervous about what would happen if I couldn’t be there to feed him by hand for some reason– no one else knows how , much less WANTS to, feed him. He’d be outta luck. Now however he’s much more independent. And just about anyone can put the food in his dish, and give him water. Frees up my time, too. I did try to release him twice in late summer, but he didn’t fly more than four feet. So I’ll try again in late spring. Might be though that he can’t fly, due to his injured shoulder. OH yeah, I bought him a big new cage. About three feet tall by 2 feet square. One of these black mesh reptile cages. He loves it. I can hear him during the night (the cage is in the bedroom), skritching around it and eating and doing all those bat-things he does for fun.
He likes to ride around on my shoulder under a loose shirt, while I go about my routine at home. I made a necklace with a goth-looking pewter bat & wear it when he’s on board, so my girlfriend knows he’s there, and so she will know to show affection carefully – or the bat might get squished!
Instead of going and buying mealworms for him (he’ll eat about 40 a night), I’ve started raising them myself. It’s pretty interesting, and educational for the kids to help out with that. I have a separate container each for the mealworms, pupae, and beetles. When the mealworms go into pupa stage, I put them in a second container, and when they turn to beetles they go into a third container. Then when the beetles’ eggs turn into little mealworms, back they go into the first container to grow and start the cycle all over again. Cool, huh?
Now for the snapping turtle update: I released him during the summer. He had started to eat ok, so rather than keeping him around to get imprinted and helpless, we took him to a nice cozy pond where he promptly dug himself in the mud under the water. I hope he’ makes the winter. I’ll be looking for him every time I go there. He was the only one to hatch, by the way.
In other news, Montine & I got engaged a couple of months ago. We plan on a very small, simple wedding at our house, in Spring ‘06. There’s like an acre of land and lots of woods so there’s plenty of room and it’s fairly private. We both agree on simple & small, since it’s the second time around for each of us.
My dad had some bad trouble back in September, right after my last LJ entry here. He’s 78 and lives alone. He had tried to drive his pickup (standard transmission) up a hill with a stoplight at the top. His leg was too weak to work the clutch and he rolled down over some guy’s shrubbery, who promptly called the cops. Dad’s friend came and walked him home after the cop observed him as disoriented and confused. My mom heard about all this and called him (she lives nearby in *his* other house actually – although they divorced in ’71, they still are amicable), and said he sounded very confused and out of it. The next day she called me and said she’d tried to call him, and he didn’t answer. She was worried. I told her to go there and see if he was ok and get back to me. She called me back and said the his truck was in the front, but he didn’t answer the door when she kept knocking and ringing.. So I told her to go back there and I’d meet her there. So I got there and tried knocking and looking in the windows. It was like noon, and there were lights on inside and the door war locked from the inside, but I couldn’t see anything from the windows.
I got in with a neighbor’s help, and as I walked to his bedroom I saw feet sticking out on the floor between the bed and the wall. My mom saw it too and freaked, thought he was dead. As I approached however, I saw his toes move. He was totally disoriented and confused and had fallen there the night before.
Anyway, long story short (TOO LATE!) he had to have emergency brain surgery to remove two clots - one from a long time ago, apparently he had fallen but didn’t tell anyone, and the other a fresh one from when the injury re-opened from the driving mishap. Another few hours on the floor he would’v e been dead. The mishap occurred by the way because the old clot had been putting pressure on his brain and causing a slow degeneration of his capabilities. The new clot was life-threatening.
So he was in the hospital for a month, recuperating. He was diagnosed with dementia.
We thought he’d have to go into a Home.
Eventually the rehab people said was very confused and had short-term-memory problems, and he ought to go into a Home but was just competent enough to sign himself out, which he would do. So they said the only choice was to let him go back to his house, with monitoring.
So mom & I spent an entire week “cleaning up” his place, which was and still is a really awful place. See, my dad has a problem with throwing things out, a big problem. His place is like one of those nasty news stories about the elderly person living in trash and filth and they wonder how a person could live like that… you’ve seen those stories. That’s him. Plus he has two dogs and a cat. I personally have tried to help him get his place cleaned out. He immediately goes and finds new shit to fill it up with. I gave up. It is obviously a conscious decision to live like that, so there’s nothing I can do to force him to live otherwise. It’s his house. It’s his life.
Anyway, before I let him back in there was something I had to do. See, my dad is a gunsmith. He had dozens of firearms in the house, plus enough ammo to start a rebellion. I am not exaggerating here. I had to get rid of them at least temporarily, so he wouldn’t hurt himself or others. The big problem: I’m not licensed to possess that amount of weaponry! So I took it all and wrapped it safely in newspapers and put them all up in his attic.
Again, long story short, When he came home he discovered them missing. I told them they were in mom’s attic and he would get them back when he got better. He flatly denied anything being wrong with him, that he’d had any problems, and demanded them back. Mind you, he’s at this point still borderline Nursing Home, with dementia. Like I’m going to give his guns to him. Yeahhh…
So he called the police on me several times, telling them I broke in and stole his guns. OK jerky, I did break in, but it was to SAVE YER MISERABLE LIFE! Not to steal those F*ing guns! I explained the whole thing to the Chief of Police, and he agreed that I did the right thing in hiding the guns. He said to leave them right where they were. He also stonewalled my dad whenever he called the police about finding the guns, saying it was still “under investigation”.
Meanwhile my dad is calling me at work demanding them back, calling my mom, threatening her and calling her bitch and stuff. (oh yeah I forgot to mention I had to take his truck keys too – they wouldn’t let him drive, and his license was suspended till a driving eval could be done). Over & over again I explained that I was trying to get a competency certification from his doctor so I could give them back. Federal Firearms Regulations say that if I give guns to someone with mental issues, I go to jail for ten years! It would be a Federal Offense to give them back to him without a competency certification!! JEEZ!
So what does he do? He calls me and says he is going to call the FBI and tell them I broke in and stole the firearms, and we’ll see how long I have my job after THAT! (I work in the civil service - Department of Defense) And he did - - he called the FBI on me! He told them that his son broke into his house and stole his guns! So now the Chief of Police calls me and says the FBI is looking for me! What the F*K, Maaaan! He tells me I need a note from dad’s doctor stating incompetency to be filed with him and my lawyer. So I do that, and I also get a competency eval form to from my lawyer to bring to dad’s doc to fill out, after examining him.
Luckily my dad had a scheduled doc’s appointment the next day anyway. The doc filled out the results and gave them back to me to also file with the police and lawyer.
So… the results? He judged my dad to be competent and in his right mind, which is what I was after. I told the police I was going to tell dad where his guns were. I handed them his keys, too. If they wanted to give them back to him, they would be responsible for anything that happened, and if my dad wanted to make the decision drive with a suspended license he was competent enough to take the heat if he got caught. It’s his life. Now if anything happened with him & his guns, I could just hold up the competency eval to prove I had no reason to keep his guns from him. The doc said he was fine. My hands are clean.
Now, you know what gets me totally pissed off in all this?? That my own father, in his right mind and competent as judged by his eval, CALLED THE FBI ON ME AND LIED (ummm.. isn't it against the law to lie to the FBI?)TO THEM ABOUT ME, AND TRIED TO GET ME TO LOSE MY JOB JUST BECAUSE HE WANTED HIS FUCKING GUNS! Even after I explained to him repeatedly what needed to happen before he could get them back. You’d think that with him being a gunsmith for 40 years he’d know the laws. Jeez! Now if he was just befuddled and had dementia, I could understand and forgive him for doing that to me. But no…. he was fully in his right mind when he did it! You‘re welcome, dad, for saving your life and trying to keep you safe. Next time you’re on the floor and dying, I’ll just politely knock. Wouldn’t want to break into your house or anything, y’know…... No answer? I’ll just go away.
My mom was furious about all that. She told him never to set foot in her(!?) house again until he apologized to me. His response? I should apologise to HIM, because it took three days to get all those guns down from the attic, and it was really hard to get the newspaper off them all that I had wrapped them in so they wouldn’t get damaged!
…Whatever. I haven’t heard from him in a month now.