This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year...Sharing Wise Words...


I want to wish all of my blogging friends a very Happy New Year. 
May it be better in every direction for all of us...

I have been visiting some blogs and there were several with messages so good, I wanted to share them: 

 Jenny Metlock. posted two posts on December 29, 2010, the second post is Deep Thoughts At Years End.  Beautifully written and great advice.

On December 29, 2010 by Relyn  wrote beautiful advice to her daughter Sloane, entitled Prudent Advice, which is also excellent advice for everyone...

Sandie posted today over at Chatty Crone wishing everyone a wonderful wish for the New Year and does so much research and sends such positive energy out into our world...

Thisisme wrote an interesting post about the various traditions for New Years around the world...

The Word Crafter wrote from her heart and imparted simple wisdom for everyone...

Miss Kris over at A Shelter From The Storm has some wonderful words to contemplate, her ten commandments for 2011...

Susy at Tales of Extraordinary Ordinariness wrote some humorous advice...

I follow so many incredible blogs, I could not possibly put you all up, I would be here all day... but I hope you all know how much I enjoy each and every one of you...even if I only visit every couple of months...

I have been totally blown away by the talent out there in this world of blogs.  I wish I was not as tired as I am so I could adequately express my gratitude to the friendships and the support I have received.  Let me just give a special shout out and thank just a few...Mari, Jeanie, Gayle, Diane, betty, Betty, Betty, both Donnas, Debra, Alex, Suzie, DJan, Laoch, Marylinn, Teresa, Pat, Jerry, Rayna, Sandie, Tammy, Terri, Simmone, Linda, Linda Lou, Lisa, Paul, dianne, and I hope I have not forgotten any one....

Happy New Year one and all....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We Gotta' Get A Better Plan Next Year...

Talk about a blur....I feel like we spent the entire three days in our car...it is not easy trying to visit such a large combined family, spread out in seven different directions...it is so good to see everyone, but it takes us a year to forget how exhausting it is...

Thursday I spent the entire day making ten dozen of my famous Oatmeal Raisin cookies for everyone and some for the party Christmas Eve and white chocolate fudge for my daughter's boyfriend. Holding steadfast to be vow to lose weight during the holidays, I only sampled half a cookie from the first batch and a half a cookie from the final batch...just to test for consistency.  I finished up the wrapping of gifts left over from Tuesday and Wednesday when I had thrown out my back...

Friday, Christmas Eve day, we dropped off Izzy to be boarded at the Vets.  Normally, her little friend is boarded too so she enjoys being room mates and walking together having familiar company.  This Christmas my girlfriend took her dog with her, so Izzy was alone.  When her furry friend (Matty) is there (which is the majority of the time) I tell Izzy she is going to see Matty and Izzy is excited to go.  This time, I did not tell her she would see Matty and she shook like a leaf while waiting for the girls to come get her. We felt HORRIBLE!  We also noticed they have had a big change in staff...it is bad enough the Vet we liked left, and had to get Izzy used to a new Vet...

Our ride to California was uneventful, we stopped for lunch in Barstow and made good time.  We arrived at Ayres Inn in Corona and were able to unpack before we were back in the car and heading to Claremont to my sister's house for Christmas Eve.  Every year she and her husband have all the family, including extended family over for dinner, games and white elephant gift exchange.  This year we did a "As seen on TV gift" exchange.  We had just as much fun with it as we do with the white elephant as we can steal each other's gifts up to three times.  What was highly remarkable, was out of 33 guests, there was not ONE duplicate gift!  We thought it was very amazing.

My oldest daughter, her hubby and my two grand sons, the 8 year old and the 6 year old, could not attend as the hubby had to work late.  My youngest daughter, her boyfriend and little baby Jacob came and was the hit of the party.  Great Grandma got first dibs, and my sister held him during the gift exchange...so I did not get much time, as I would see him the next day.

My Mom (Great Grandma) had finished the 6 year old grand son's Christmas stocking.  She does incredibly detailed cross stitched stockings.  She has done one for each of the twelve grand children, both her great-grand children and is now starting on baby Jacob's stocking.  Mom was disappointed she could not see my daughter and grand son's face when she presented it to them...

I promised her I would have them close their eyes, then I would present it to them and take a picture of their faces and send it to her.  Not her first choice, but she appreciated my offer...( I would post pics of the stockings, but they have my grand son's names on them, and my oldest daughter still will not allow me to publish their names or pictures.)

Every year we stay till 11pm or midnight and then return to our hotel to exchange gifts with my husband's daughter, her husband and his youngest son.  This year, they could not attend the party as they all worked. We were exhausted from the trip over earlier, and neither of us got a nap, so we left at 10pm, to hit the sheets as we had to be at my oldest daughters house, Christmas morning by 10am...

Saturday, Christmas morning, on our way to my daughter's I always call my brother in Ohio and visit with him over the phone until we arrive at my daughters home in Beaumont..  It was so good to hear his voice and he always makes me laugh.  My daughter had OUT DONE HERSELF with baking.  She made some Oreo balls which are dark chocolate melted over a thick Oreo filling.  She also made two types of fudge, brownies, cinnamon monkey bread, ham, macaroni and cheese, roasted green beans, mashed potatoes and sweet yams.  I did sample three Oreo balls, but refrained from the fudge and brownies.  I had three little chunks of the monkey bread.  I am determined to lose this weight...

I had been so delirious the night before, as I had two glasses of wine BEFORE dinner, I did not take any pictures... so I pulled out my camera to capture the expressions on my daughter's and 6 year old grand son's face for the presentation of the Christmas stocking, and after that picture, my camera displayed, MEMORY CARD FULL!!

I had to delete a couple of pictures so I could take a picture of the stocking and the 8 year old grand son's stocking as also requested by my Mom.

My youngest daughter, her boyfriend and baby Jacob arrived shortly after.  We ate and exchanged gifts, all the while my oldest daughter (baby Jacob's Auntie) and I took turns holding him.  He rarely cries, but he was a little cranky, so we determined he had gas, or was getting early tooth buds... Here is a pic of him smiling...** note what it says on his shirt?** 

**"all I want for Christmas is my Auntie."**

It is our tradition to go to a show on Christmas day. Since the girls have kids now, and the older boys want to play with their toys, we would be going by ourselves. It was a wonderful day and we did not want to leave, but finally, we left my daughter's home at 5pm and went straight to eat. El Torito is the only place open and closes at 8pm. The show started at 7:30pm. After dinner, we decided to wait the remainder of the time at the hotel... and you guessed it, we fell asleep...

Sunday morning, we started with a 9am breakfast with the youngest son, then drove to West Covina to visit Dad, then to Irvine for gift exchange and lunch with another of my husband's son, his wife and two grand daughters, then to Riverside for dinner with my husband's daughter and son in law.  We got back to our hotel around midnight...

Monday morning we drove back to Nevada...and believe me, we were both on our last nerve by then.  The traffic trying to get out of the Inland Empire was slow and tedious.... something my husband does not cope with easily. Knowing we would stop either at Barstow or Baker, like we always do, I decided to take a nap...

Just past Baker I woke up thinking we were almost to Baker. and would be soon pulling off the road for a potty break and lunch.  My husband announced, "Since you were asleep, I decided to drive straight through." 

"My kidneys are ready to burst!!  Since when do I make it straight through without a break?" (To say I was grouchy, was an understatement. I was also STARVING. 

"I knew you were tired, so I thought you would sleep all the way..."

"I NEVER SLEEP ALL THE WAY!!!" (besides needing to stop to relieve myself...I now knew it would be at least another hour or more before we could eat...)

"FINE!  IT IS ALWAYS MY FAULT!!"

We drove in silence to state line. As he pulled off the freeway, I pointed to the Chevron station with a visitors center and many toilets...  "There, the Chevron, stop there..."  I huffed. Instead, he drives past and heads for a Mc Donald's where I KNOW FROM PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE has only three stalls with one normally out of order.  More bickering between us as I stormed out of the car moving as fast as one can with one's knees clasped together to prevent an "accident" in one's pants...

Typically, there was a line waiting to use the two out of three stalls and one was OUT OF ORDER.  Blowing steam from both ears, and grabbing my "private area" with blatant disregard, I blasted out the front door like a robber running for the get away car... 

Fuming with anger and the freezing cold outside air upon my face,  I set my eyes on the Chevron station with the determination of champion. I bolted across the parking lot, dodged cars on the crowded street, weaved myself through departing cars from the visitor's center and made a bee line into the Ladies bathroom and the closest open stall.

 Oh...the...heavenly...relief.....

I returned to our car, approaching from the opposite direction I had left, my husband oblivious to my trek across to the visitor's center, asked incredulously,

"Where did you come from?" 

"I HAD TO WALK ACROSS THE STREET TO CHEVRON BECAUSE, AS I TOLD YOU,
MC DONALD'S WAS FULL!!!" 

I was HOT!  I was hungry.  I had not eaten since our early breakfast and I was STARVING!  If I am dieting, and watching what I eat, I have to eat something small every couple of hours... I was totally devoid of Christmas spirit.  Since I can't eat when I am angry... I kept mouthing off at my husband... not a good idea when driving on the freeway...so I finally shut up and succumbed to the silent treatment he was dishing out...

As we approached the Vet's office, I knew I had to resolve my anger, because Izzy being abused, picks up on any yelling or bad vibes immediately.  I did not want to do that to her...so I ask my husband to pull off in the parking lot so we could talk....

I said my piece.  I cried.  He listened.  He apologised.  He took my hand and made me laugh.  We kissed and made up.  I think this was our third fight in ten years...

Izzy was so happy to see us, shaking with exuberance and joy and pulled us like a sled dog all the way to our car.  After we unloaded the car, my husband went out for Pollo Loco chicken while I unpacked.  We ate and fell asleep with our clothes on where we sat after dinner...me in the recliner, he on the couch, and Izzy in her living room bed...

We gotta' get a better plan for next year...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

This Is One Of Those Difficult Days...

It's almost midnight.  We just returned from dinner with my husband's daughter and son in law in Riverside.  Before we saw them, we delivered Christmas gifts to my husband's two grand daughters in Irvine and then the six of us went out to lunch...

We started our day with my husband's youngest son coming to our hotel for breakfast at 9 am.  He worked late last night at Disneyland, so waking up early to come dine with us was a huge compliment.  He had to work today at noon, so our visit was short but sweet.

By 10:30 am we were on the freeway, on our way to West Covina to see Dad at the nursing home. We arrived just before 11:30 am and saw Dad in the dining room waiting for lunch.  We didn't stop in to see him right away, instead, I headed straight for the nursing station.  I shared our concerns and observations.  I reviewed my list with the charge nurse. I am concerned Dad has become immune to all the antibiotics he has been on for various UTI, yeast infections, MRSA, and eye infections. She nods in agreement it is a possibility...

The nurse told me the doctor would probably not want to put Dad on further eye drops as he had just finished a ten day stint of antibiotics for his eye.  I urged her to contact him and told her we wanted an outside consult on his eye.  I think we should know if it is in fact cancer.  Even if it is, Mom doubts Dad would allow any treatment.  Four years ago when his Opthamologist told Dad he wanted to do a biopsy on his lower eye lid, Dad refused, totally disagreed with the doctor and stopped going to his office.  Dad was convinced parasites had invaded his eye lid.

The charge nurse promised she would call Dad's doctor and call me back.

My husband and I went in to see Dad.  He saw me at the entry to the dining room and gave me a huge smile.  He called me by name and did the same for my husband.  He seemed happy.  He suggested we go out on the patio.  It had rained last night, so everything was wet.  It was a bit nippy, but the sun was out.  I felt a little chilly, but asked Dad if he was cold.  He told me if I was fine, so was he...


Dad began to tell us about being so afraid of losing his youngest son and when he came to visit the other day, he cried for three days with relief.  It broke my heart.

He told us the nursing home would be expanding and cutting down trees to do so.  He told us about people being drunk and "shooting up the place".  He told us how well they control everyone because they got the drunks to calm down and be remorseful...

He told us how well they kept track of every person living there and where they were at all times.  He said they knew everything about them.  He talked of, Doctor-Doctor, "Pickles" and the other wonderful care givers who take care of him.

As he talked I just drank him in.  He had not been shaved yet.  His white beard stubble stood out on his ruddy complexion.  His silver hair is growing longer and probably needs to be cut, as they keep it short now... But I like it longer.

He is stiff while sitting in his wheel chair and moves robotically from side to side.  He motions with his right hand, waving it to accentuate a point he is making... His hands are bent and crooked.  He keeps his left hand up to the left side of his face as if he is shading it from the sun....

He is wearing the beige warm jacket we gave him for his 90th birthday... he tells me it keeps him nice and warm when I check to see if he needs me to get him his blanket...

Some days I can barely keep it together when I gaze at him.  I hate he is in a nursing home.  I hate that we must have a short visit and leave him to go visit other family members today... I hate he is living there with so many other people, some yelling, some with missing limbs or body parts, some coughing loose, phlegm type coughs... I fight back tears...

I took our Christmas card out of my purse and gave it to him.  I have to help him open the sealed red envelope... the strength in his arthritic fingers is not what it used to be... He begins to attempt to read the card and I can tell he can't see well... I ask if I might read it to him and he looks at me and smiles and thanks me...

He loves the words, he tells me I always pick just the right card.  He is so kind, so gentle, so loving, so gracious...

A CNA walks to us on the patio, carrying a lunch tray for Dad.  Dad wants to eat inside, so I push him in his wheel chair to a table near the window.  We are in the way, we have to move so the girls may serve all the residents.  We don't want to "hover" over Dad as he dials in his focus on his food and begins to chow down...  I lean over, kissing him on his cheek, and tell him we will be back in a moment.  He is too busy eating to respond...

My husband and I go to an alcove near the dining room and sit down in two wing back chairs.  I am quiet and silent.  So is he.  He distracts himself by watching the various employees coming and going out the alarmed door.  We see Doctor-Doctor.  We share a hug, but she seems very distracted.   She is busy helping serve lunch.  She tells me not to worry, she will keep an eye on Dad, regardless of where she is assigned and excuses herself to help deliver food trays...

I want to throw my face in my hands and cry and wail... instead, I look at my husband... "This is one of those hard days", I tell him.

"I know"... he replies.

"I don't think I could live in a nursing home," I say, "And it would break my heart to have to visit you in one..."

My husband nods his head in agreement. "I'd rather have a heart attack and go quick," he says...

"Me too..."


We listen to a woman cursing and yelling.  My husband looks at me and tells me she reminds him of his Mom towards the end... I remember silently with him...

I think it is easier when I am focused just on Dad.  Not being with him while he eats, seemed to turn up the volume and everyone and everything seemed so much louder...

I stand and watch Dad through the dining room window.  Dad's right hand steadily raises the styrofoam cup to his mouth and drinks from it.  I bob my head back and forth to see if I can tell if he is finished eating or not.  Finally, I walk to him and am relieved he has finished eating.  He is polishing off his coffee and the last of his Ensure...

When he tells me he is full, and everything is eaten and emptied, I wheel him back to the alcove where my husband is waiting.  We sit and chat some more...

I ask Dad about his Christmas party and he elaborates about how good the food was and how he loved watching the little children... He tells us how much he enjoyed seeing my sister and brother in law and his youngest son and Mom the other day...

I can tell by his eyes he is tired.  He usually gets sleepy after he eats... I ask if his full tummy has made me want a nap...  He smiles a tired smile and agrees it would be a good idea...

With my husband walking beside Dad in his wheel chair and me pushing, we arrive at the nursing station.  I let the charge nurse know Dad is ready for a nap.  She asks me to leave Dad with her and she will get a tech to put him to bed.  Dad reaches to shake hands with my husband and Dad gives me a huge smile as I lean down to kiss him good bye...

Next stop, Irvine...  and we drove there in silence...

Some times, there just are no words...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Subtle Changes, Obvious Warnings?

This morning, my sister and her husband went to visit Dad.  They found him in the TV room, singing to the music with his eyes closed.  He recognized both of them and was so happy to see them both.  They took him out to the patio so they could have a better visit.  The sun was shining and Dad told them how good the sun felt so warm on his face...

My sister noticed Dad was wearing some dark brown slip on type slippers. Dad told them how fast he could run in them.  She reminded him not to do any running because we did not want him to fall again...

She also observed Dad's right eye looked the worst she has ever seen it.  His eye was so goopy she had one of the nurses clean his eye with a warm towel.  He is currently on antibiotics for his yeast infection and before that, ten days of antibiotic drops for his eyes.  Maybe he is becoming immune from so much antibiotics??

My sister reported his sore on his upper lip looked larger.  Dad was unable to bend his fingers on his left hand.  My sister asked if it hurt and Dad told her he could slap some one good with his left hand and he made a fist with his right, telling her he could slug some body if he had to protect himself...


Dad continuously itched the top left side of his head the entire visit.  He told my sister's husband itching the head made his hair grow faster... My brother in law noted Dad can't seem to focus on reality for too long...

My Dad used to have a nervous habit of itching.  He was obsessive about it, and would make red welts on his arms and legs.  He would even scratch nervously, in one spot, over his clothes.  I used to notice him doing so before he was admitted when he was so paranoid...

Dad told them, "They" came in all drunk with guns blazing and shot up the place.  Dad put "them" all in prison.  After "they" sobered up, they were remorseful, so he let "them" all out...


Despite Dad's confusion, he seemed very happy and content...

Lunch was served and Dad was ready to eat.  The sun made Dad sleepy so my sister was sure he took a good nap after devouring his lunch.

Tomorrow my husband and I plan to visit.  I intend to talk to the nurses about my sister's observations and to have them pay more attention to his level of paranoia and fear...  I have asked them to avoid having him see the news and to keep his TV viewing as pleasant as possible...

I am concerned.  I sense subtle changes and hope it is not an obvious warning...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Paranoia Is Slowly Creeping Back Into Dad's Brain...

Mom went to visit Dad yesterday, just before lunch.  She found him in the dining room and went to give him a kiss hello.  As she leaned in, Dad grabbed her hand and asked how their second the oldest son was.  Mom wasn't sure if she heard him right, as it was very loud in the dining room, so she wheeled him outside.

Clearly Dad was upset.  He thought my second to the oldest brother had been shot.  Mom did her best to assure Dad, my brother was fine.  Dad was convinced of the shooting.  Mom called my brother, who owns a trucking company and  coaches several soccer teams, rarely answers the phone right away.  Luckily, he answered his phone.  Mom passed her cell to Dad so he could hear his voice.
Dad was so relieved and happy, he wanted to talk my brother's ear off... Mom reminded Dad he was at work, so Dad let him go, satisfied his son was safe.

When Dad was first admitted to the hospital almost two years ago, he was very paranoid and imagined his children being beaten, shot, kidnapped, tortured and threatened.  We had to rotate in to visit him in the ER so he knew we were all OK.  My husband and I are going to visit the day after Christmas, and I think I need to have him re-evaluated again.  He has been taken off his medication for the paranoia, over six months ago... he may need to go back on it.

The nursing home was having a Christmas party with ham, turkey and all the fixings.  Mom had been invited, as were the rest of the family...  Mom commented on how good all the food looked and Dad told her he was not eating.  He told her the food was really bad and he had been ill all morning.  Mom spoke with "Pickles", Dad's nurse for the day, and she told Mom Dad had eaten all his breakfast and was fine...

Santa jollied up to Dad and presented him with two wrapped gifts.  Dad was thrilled and excited to open the presents.  He received two beautiful short sleeved shirts, an Adidas burnt orange one and a beautiful blue Guess shirt.  Mom said they were brand new and had no idea who provided the gifts.

Lots of families were visiting, with children running around and even a few dogs on leashes.  Dad was enjoying watching the children playing.  He told Mom how much he missed his grand children.  I wonder if he even is aware most of his grand children are grown up now... often he thinks my grand children, are his...

Mom turned around and was shocked and surprised to see her youngest son!  Dad was over joyed to see him and gave him a huge hug.  Dad dived into a non stop conversation leaving Mom and my brother very little room to get a word in edge-wise.

Dad went on about sailing on a yacht with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara and how he was one of the passengers on the Lusitania when it sank... Mom asked if he meant the Titanic.  Dad laughed and told them some times he gets confused...

Lunch was served and his nurse brought him a tray of turkey, gravy, mashed sweet potatoes, fresh green peas with red peppers, a roll, ice cream, milk, and a piece of iced cake.  Dad scarfed down every bite, including some molasses cookies my youngest brother had brought him.  So much for the "lousy food"...

My Father has always been very "black" or "white" with no shades of gray.  There were some movie stars he disliked for either their personal lives or a part he saw them play in a movie.  He intensely disliked Jane Fonda, mainly due to her "Hanoi Jane" reputation during the Viet Nam War.  He also disliked Barbara Walters and Paul Newman ( I can't remember why).

He would REFUSE to watch a movie or program with any of these particular movies stars.  We would all be gathered in the living room as a family, ready to watch a movie and if Jane Fonda was in it, he would storm upstairs or out to the garage until it was over.  One time, when we all went to the drive in to see SLAP SHOT, when Dad found out Paul Newman was in it, he got out of the car and walked home!

You can imagine how stunned my brother and mother were when suddenly Dad announced he now liked Jane Fonda.  As they stared at Dad with mouths agape, Dad added he admitted he used to dislike her during the War, but now he had come full circle 100%.

My brother asked him about Barbara Walters, but Dad could not remember her...

Then Dad, with furrowed brow, told them how the building had been evacuated yesterday during the rain because the roof was going to collapse... no doubt he had seen the news about the Minnesota Vikings Metrodome collapse from all the snow...

Dad seems to be more and more locked into fantasy than reality these days...

My brother left and Mom diverted Dad's distress by showing him the 2011 calendar she brought him.  Dad told her he wanted to come home for the weekend... Dad has not asked to come home in so long, so when he does it always knocks Mom for a loop... we all know if would be impossible for him to be home and for Mom to take care of him.

Mom told Dad she would bring some tape and hang his calendar for him next to his bed...

Like flipping channels on a TV, Dad told Mom how much he missed my brother's former girlfriend L----...  This is a girlfriend he used to date back in high school... more than twenty years ago.  Mom used her nick name to clarify who he meant...

Dad's mood went from sentimental to vicious when he snapped, "NO!!! I MEAN DOCTOR-DOCTOR!! YOU CAN'T REMEMBER ANY THING!!!

Composing herself, Mom attempted to calm him by telling Dad she might be busy due to her large family....

Again, Dad yelled, "WHAT FAMILY!!! SHE DOESN'T HAVE A FAMILY!  I MISS HER!!!"

Mom quickly comforted him by explaining she has lots of brothers and sisters she helps support....

As quickly as the storm moved in, her explanation brought out the sunshine, and Dad was calm and peaceful once again...

Emotionally exhausted, Mom wheeled him back to his room for his afternoon nap... Some visits are good, and others you wish you stayed home...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Blessings To All My Blogging Friends...

Today I will spend the day baking and packing.  I will not post anything until we return next week.  I hope to catch up visiting everyone's blogs...

We leave tomorrow on "the road to love" to spend Christmas in California with the rest of our family.  I am so looking forward to seeing my family, my three grandsons, my daughters, my sister, my Mom and Dad and my brothers.

May each and every one of you dear fellow bloggers have save travels, both going and coming, and enjoy however each of you choose to spend Christmas Day.  May you each stay healthy, happy, warm and well fed. 

Love to all of you!!!  Donna


Christmas Blessings
to all
my
Blogging friends...

Please click on the link below:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Vivid Adventures of Robin Hood...(aka, My Dad)

After several attempts today, I was able to make contact with Dad and speak with him over the phone. He was in great spirits and chatted to me non-stop...

He told me he had awoke this morning to a box of candy beside his bed, which made him feel renewed.

"I feel soooooo good," he said in a full voice laced with exuberance.

Currently Dad is being treated with yet another round of antibiotics for a yeast infection in his urine.  He told me he had good reports on his system and was very relieved.

"It proves no one has to worry about my company," he reported...

" The dear people of this nation need not to worry.  We need to stress peace, especially with China.  Everyone needs to wake up and be wake all day, every day.  We need to laugh during the day with ourselves and with the nation."

He assured me changing partners, making companies amongst themselves to keep the dear people working, was the best plan for everyone...

Dad mentioned twice he would like to come visit us and play Poker...he wouldn't mind living with us either...

Before I could respond, there was concern in his voice as he told me not to go out at night.  There were flood warnings...

I told him it was the same here, but we were being very careful.  I told him it was suppose to clear up by Thursday and we would travel on Friday.  I told him my husband and I were coming to visit him, which made him sound very excited and happy.

Suddenly, he laughed heartily, and told me he was Robin Hood, wearing a hat with a feather in it...

Will you rob from the rich and give to the poor, Dad? 

"Blessed are the poor and meek", he said...

"I am overwhelmed with beautiful ladies, with their white legs ... oh, how I love white legs on ladies..."  I had to chuckle...he gave me a huge smile...

He is so grateful and knows Jesus is smiling on him... A lump forms in my throat listening to the child like joy in his voice...

"I feel so invigorated, alternating and circulating within our groups...and I just had the most wonderful shower.  I feel refreshed and clean!"  I know how particular my Father's personal hygiene is to him, so I was so happy to hear how good he felt...

"God is the Captain of my ship!" he announced, and I whole heartily agreed...

"When the water came rushing in, Jesus asked me if I saw him, and I told him OH YES, I KNOW YOU ARE ALWAYS SMILING ON ME!... It went under water and the ship sinks...it's real water... "

I asked what ship he was talking about...

"The Lusitania.  Don't you remember?  The one with all those little innocent children's faces looking up..."

I googled the Lusitania and it was sunk off the Irish coast in 1915, five years before my father was born.  It was sunk by a German U-boat, killing 1198 people with over a hundred children.  It is so typical of Dad to think of the children...he must have viewed something on TV...

As if the thoughts were too intrusive and sad to recall, Dad announced, "That's enough of that subject..."

Again, he mentioned how he looked forward to seeing my husband and I.  He called me "Firstborn" as he always has, and told me to say hello to all my husband's brothers too. My husband is an only child, so I knew he meant his six children and six grand children.

I could hear him cooing and telling someone he loves them, so no doubt it was one of the staff getting him ready for some activities and then his lunch.

Bless his heart.  He is such a gentle spirit.  My heart is over flowing with love for him...

He thanked me for calling and told me he would see me soon...

See you soon Dad...I love you so much.

Monday, December 20, 2010

3 Months Old Today...

Just me and my teddy...
3 months old today.

I like my fingers when I can't find my binkie...but sometimes, my long fingers gag me... I don't like when that happens...

We Just Escaped From A Trojan Horse...

Back on line after husband inadvertently clicked on a hoax called System Tool Spy ware with Trojan Horse virus while on Fox Sports. It took over our computer and froze it completely.  Just got it fixed....thanks to the computer Guru with our Community Computer Club.

The virus scam gave a pop up screen announcing our computer was infected.  He clicked on it and it ran and infiltrated our computer and then announced we would have to pay $69.99 to remove all the viruses and infections.

We had a big family dinner for the ten of us, last night, with my husband's family...we leave for California on Friday....so am busy wrapping and preparing...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Only Dream Worth Having...


A very insightful friend of mine sent me these words in an email.  The impact of the author's words struck me with insight and strength.  I googled her and found what my friend had emailed me was an excerpt from a chapter entitled, THE END OF IMAGINATION, from the above book.  I have never heard of this author, but I intend to get her book and read it.

Here are her words in my format:

**"There are other worlds.
Other kinds of dreams.
Dreams in which failure is feasible.
Honorable.
Sometimes even worth striving for.
 Worlds in which recognition
 is not the only barometer of brilliance
or human worth.
There are plenty of warriors
that I know and love,
 people far more valuable than myself,
 who go to war each day,
knowing in advance that they will fail.
True, they're less successful
 in the most vulgar
 sense of the word,
but by no means less fulfilled.

The only dream worth having...
is to dream that you will live
while you're alive
 and die
 only when you're dead.
 To love.
To be loved.
 To never forget your own insignificance.
To never get used to the unspeakable
 violence
 and the vulgar disparity
 of life around you.
To seek joy in the saddest places.
 To pursue beauty to its lair.
 To never simplify what is complicated
 or complicate what is simple.
 To respect strength,
never power.
 Above all, to watch.
 To try and understand.
To never look away.
 And never, never, to forget"

by Arundhati Roy

One could interpret these words in many different directions; living a conscious life, the economy and current times or the fact my Father is demented with Alzheimer's.

When I read the words above, I feel it describes our family's grief, sadness and pain knowing our Father, Mom's husband, is on a one way street and will not return to us the way we have known him all our lives.  Nor will we ever have the relationships we each had with him.  It is different now.  We could run and hide from what is happening, but for me, it would be the coward's path.  Love is not always packaged like it was wrapped at Nordstrom's with a pretty bow.  Real love is always changing, yet always present. It can be good, difficult, ecstatic, challenging, and wonderfully, full filling and familiar...As my 8 year old grand son says, "Love is Love."

Like Kabril Gibran says, "Love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course."  Roy's words, "to live while you are alive, and die when you are dead' are so profound. Reading Dad's journals has brought this subject to mind so vividly.  Another lesson Roy promotes is, "to seek joy in the saddest of places and to pursue beauty to its lair."   I just LOVE that..

I know my Father.  He has tremendous grace and faith in God.  He is kind.  He is gentle.  I believe, some how, in some small way, he remembers the essence of who he is. I can see it in his dignity and the way he lives his life now, in a nursing home. 

At first he was angry and afraid.  I think mainly because he was aware enough to know his memory, abilities and personal freedom were beginning to slip away.  He, like most anyone would, recoiled and panicked.  I can see how procrastination can skip along oblivious, only to suddenly fall into a deep, dark pit.  Falling all the way to the bottom and regretting all the things left undone...unaccomplished...unsaid....
All of it is forgotten. He now lives in the moment. I see him as a Warrior.  I see him as a brave Marine, fighting his best fight, knowing this is his last battle.  Despite the out come, he instinctively knows, it is how we live, how we love and how we fight battles, which determine our legacy.

I will "never look away" and I will "never, never, forget" him.

** Excerpt from the book THE COST OF LIVING by Arundhati Roy, Chapter: The End Of Imagination, Pages 104-105

Monday, December 13, 2010

John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara...

For fifteen years my Dad was a volunteer chaplain in Glendora, CA.  He worked with a female chaplain who started a tape ministry of bible verses and stories. This February, she will have been ordained sixty years. Dad and she would distribute the tapes when visiting patients in the hospitals and nursing homes.  Mom picked up the Reverend and brought her to visit Dad.

The Reverend also makes little miniature houses out of used Christmas cards and fills it with home made cookies.  She made one for Dad.  She also gave him a red cap, which he placed on his head and left it there the remainder of their visit out on the patio.

Mom basically sat and listened, making comments here and there.  Dad talked with the Reverend non stop.  He told her John Wayne was waiting to welcome him, "up  there"in heaven.  Then Dad broke into a long story about "the Duke" and Maureen O'Hara in one of his favorite movies, THE QUIET MAN.






They had lots to discuss with her frequent references to various verses from the bible, and recalling patients and events when they worked together.

She was very impressed with the nursing home, the staff and how content Dad is.  While the Reverend and Dad chatted, Mom had a bag of Pomegranates off her home tree and gave them to the nurses.  Mom keeps them well supplied with lemons also. Mom had washed one of Dad's sweatshirts so she hung it in his closet.  She put some of his cookies in his night stand...

When Mom returned to the patio, she brought Doctor-Doctor and "Pickles", two of Dad's favorite nurses and introduced them to the Reverend. The nurses both raved about Dad as a patient.  The Reverend said Dad was such a nice man, of course he would be a nice patient.

They stayed until Dad was served his lunch, then they left and Mom drove the Reverend home.  Mom is looking forward to watching GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER on the Ted Turner channel.  She used to watch the old classic movies with my oldest brother, who lives in Ohio.

Thank you Mom for bring the Reverend to visit Dad, I know he enjoyed the visit.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

In The Blink Of An Eye...

Yesterday, my husband and I watched a story on the news which made us cry, feel thankful and reminded us of the importance of being an organ donor...

Aric Brill was 16 years old when he was shot February 20, 2009 outside a party in the east valley of Las Vegas.  He was returning to the party, after walking to a near by 7- Eleven with some friends, when suddenly they were confronted by a lone suspect who pulled two guns in each hand. A witness said the assailant shouted at the boys, he was going to  rob them, threatening to shoot if anyone ran.  As Aric and the others scattered and ran for their lives, the assailant began shooting.  Two of the boys were shot.  A  19 year old friend was critically wounded but survived.  Aric was shot in the back of the head, severing an artery to his brain. In the blink of an eye, his life was over. It was reported, the shooter ran up and robbed one of the boys as they lay on the ground bleeding, and then ran away.

Despite blood spurting from his wounds, police officer Vernon Ferguson gave Aric CPR.  This heroic decision would be a very critical part of Aric's last wishes...

The shooter is suspected to be a gang member but still has not been found.  There is a $17,500 reward for any information leading to the apprehension of Aric's killer.

Just two weeks prior to the shooting, Aric told his Mother at the DMV, he wanted ALL HIS ORGANS donated if he should die.

Yesterday, Louis one of the eight recipients of Aric's organs, was flown from Santa Cruz, Ca to Vegas by an anonymous donation, so he could meet Aric's Mother Karen, his now 16 year old brother Kevin and his Father, Don.  Louis, age 51, received Aric's heart.

If the police officer had not kept Aric breathing through CPR, none of Aric's organs would have been able to be donated.

I cannot tell you how huge the lump in my throat was when I watched Aric's Mother put on a stethoscope and listened to her son's heart beating in Louis's chest. 

I cannot even begin to imagine the impact it had on her and her family.

Personally, I ached for the family as tears pooled in my eyes and fell down my cheeks.  I looked over and my husband was wiping his eyes too.

The Brill family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He was a good kid with piercing blue eyes, an A student at Global community High School. He was involved with The Future Business Leaders of America, was computer savvy and stayed physically fit playing football and skateboarding.  He was best friends with his younger brother. He was not affiliated with any gangs.

A news post on Aric's Memorial service reported his Mom read a list of Aric's top ten life goals.  Two of those goals were to graduate from high school with Honors and to get a scholarship to College.  The pain his parents must have felt knowing none of those goals on her son's list would be accomplished.  I hope they can find some peace and consolation with his generous spirit in giving the Gift of Life to eight different people, when most donors can only help two.  I think Aric's gift was unselfish  and one which will live on for many years in his memory.

Watching the news program yesterday, Aric's Father said, "The only thing worse than losing Aric, would be the loss of any of the people who received Aric's organs." 

My heart ached for a family with such a great loss, to find comfort and love for eight total strangers who are alive and living only because of their wonderful son. I pray the family heals and his killer is caught.  Rest in peace Aric and may you continue to fly on the wings of eagles...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Grandson Quips...

Today I was talking with my oldest daughter.  My eight year old grand son recently lost his lower left incisor.  He is very enthusiastic when he gets a loose tooth and vigorously pursues getting it out.  When he pulled it out, my daughter actually heard the "pop".  As she brought him some tissue to bite down on, he said, "I really had to wrestle with that tooth Mom, it was man vs tooth!"

With her youngest six year old son, he is especially endearing to her when he calls his feet, "foots" and "teef" instead of teeth.  The other day while doing his homework, he grew up before her eyes when he told her the plural of foot is feet and the plural of tooth is teeth. With mixed emotion, she told him he was correct and how proud of him she is...

These are memories worth writing down...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Magic In A Phone Call...

            My youngest daughter with her son

Tonight, my youngest daughter called me and in a low voice she whispered to listen and not talk.  I could hear my youngest grand son babbling and trying to laugh.  Cooing and squealing and obviously wanting to tell his Mom about his day...

My daughter had to return to work two days ago.  Thankfully, her boyfriend and his Mother have been caring for him while she works 8am to 5pm. They no longer have days off together, choosing to take their days off to care for their son instead. Some days he works from home with his Mom helping with the baby. I wish I could be closer to help out too. My daughter used to stay later and spend a lot of extra time at her job.  Now a days, she comes home straight from work because she can't wait to greet her precious little boy...

My wish for her would be, one day, she would not have to work, so she could spend the day with him... but these are very difficult financial times, and she must do what she must do to help her man and family.

My prayer is for every family going through difficult financial times, to remember to stay very close to one's family & friends, keep the faith, and despite the challenges, hope for the best and remember all your blessings.


Sweet dreams little tiger...cozy, cozy...you are so blessed to have the Mommy and Daddy, Aunties and Uncles, Cousins, Grandmas and Grandpas you have...I love you!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WHOOPS!!!

I was so tired last night, I must have hit publish instead of save as draft....here is the rest of Mom's visit with Dad...see below on yesterday's finished post...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dad Is Dating Judge Judy, And His Debts Are Paid...

Mom went to visit Dad yesterday after church.  She found Dad snoozing in his bed.  She sat beside his bed and was happy to see he had been freshly shaved and trimmed.  Mom gently shook Dad's shoulder and he woke up smiling, telling her he knew she would come see him today...

Mom was thrilled to see how much Dad's eye has improved since being on the daily eye drops.  Last time my husband, sister and I visited Dad, we noticed his eye was all goopy.  I talked with the charge nurse and she let the doctor know, who prescribed the eye drops for him...

Mom told Dad he looked so cozy in bed on such a chilly day.  She told him she wanted to go home and take a nap so she could stay awake for the Amazing Race.  Dad informed her he was now directing that particular show on TV.

From then on, Mom just sat and nodded as she was unable to get a word in edgewise, the remainder of their conversation...

Mom thinks Dad over heard someone talking or heard it on TV, but he was obsessed with telling her "his debts were paid".  He told her the Marine Corp is allowing him to do anything he wants.  The nursing home was going to allow all the residents to carry guns, but Dad talked to all the officials and convinced them of the dangers with guns.  He finally convinced them to reconsider and not allow guns in the facility.

"You know they still hang people who don't pay their debts", Dad began again after taking a breath.  He directed Mom to the hallway and showed her a mural painted by a man, who (you guessed it) had paid all his debts too.

{***WHOOPS....I was so tired last night, I must have clicked on "publish" instead of "save to draft"**** This is the rest of Mom's visit..."

"Judge Judy is now in love with me you know", Dad spouted proudly, while Mom nodded and smiled.  "She wants to marry me", Dad said with a huge smile..."That's nice" Mom was able to say, before he launched into asking with their friend's grandson, who is a Marine Pilot was coming to visit again..."I need him to help me  brush up on some flying lessons.  Where are all those pictures of me when I flew in the War?" ( Dad never flew in the War, but his Father was a Marine Pilot...)

"Women are lined up inside and outside for me", he sighed. 

One of the nurses Dad calls "Pickles" stopped in to chat with Mom and give Dad a hug...She told Mom Dad has been very "vocal" lately, talking away in strong voice even while sitting in his wheel chair in the dining room or the hall ways, regardless if anyone is with him or not.

"Did I tell you all my debts are paid?" 

Mom nodded her head and smiled, "I'm glad. It must be a huge relief"....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Journals Of My Father...

I've been reading some of Dad's journals.  His eccentric personality definitely shows in his writing.  Mom always complained of his procrastination, but with his journals, he was consistent.  Often, his handwriting looks like the writing of different people, but he had neat printing.  If the journal had a small space for the day's entry, he filled it with microscopic illegible handwriting.  Cramming every bit of information in the columns and into every possible space for that day.

I'm glad he occasionally used spiral 70 page notebooks, and as always, used every single line and space to write. He included the chores he accomplished, the goals he had, what was happening within our family, who visited, who needed prayers. 

It touches me how sweet and loving he is with his worry and concern for his children and grand children, our country. His family life, his children and grand children are always the main topics of his conversation.  He had several friends, but he was really a loner.  He always had an excuse as to why he could not go somewhere or meet some one for lunch.  His chores around the house were always his duty before fun....except with us.

Course, he may set out in the morning for a part he felt he needed and go to nine different stores to find it and felt none of the stores had the quality, so he came home with nothing and the job lay unfinished.  Often, one of my brothers would bring him a part, which was always the best quality, in Dad's eyes and it would get fixed or re-started until the next obstacle. Anything connected with any of his children, was excellent and full of promise.

He was a frugal man in the sense he loved the challenge of utilizing unusual things for unconventional reasons.  He saved and hoarded, because "You just never know when this exact same thing may come in handy for a project..."  Dad had piles of stuff and it drove Mom and my brothers crazy... I tried several times to organize a family gathering to clean out his stuff, which Dad would agree to, only to have him call me and cancel the day we were to come. He could not part with anything, unless we asked him to let us have it...

I shopped with Dad several times before he was admitted to the nursing home.  It was always a hunt for shoes, sun hats and clothes.  He rarely found anything he considered to be "good enough" and worthy of spending the money.  We would always come home empty handed and he would continue to wear shoes too big for him and make do with the clothes he had.

He and Mom loved to watch the Angel baseball games on TV.  That was one activity they could enjoy together.  Dad had a conscious list of various movie stars he did not like for one reason or another, and if that particular film star was in the movie, it had to be bad...

I remember one weekend when I came over to stay, and Mom and I were excited about watching some movie.  Dad was excited about watching it with us...until he saw who was in the movie.  He made a disapproving noise and left the room.  Now if John Wayne was in the film, he would have surely stayed.

Many times one of us came to visit and Dad would sit and visit for a bit, only to have him go off to go get something from the store for an important job he was working on, or he would disappear upstairs to get dressed and it would take him the remainder of the visit to dress..  Some times, he would just excuse himself and he would hole up in the garage or busy himself in the back yard with one of his piles of "stuff".

To say he got distracted easily is an understatement.  I would watch him in the backyard, when I stayed with him while Mom was away on a trip.  He would walk with such purpose, like he was on a mission, then suddenly stop in the middle of the yard, put his hand to his chin and I could tell he had forgotten what he was going to do.  He would wander and flit like a butterfly, from tree, to pile, to the garage, to the hose, to front, to the vegetable garden and get little done.

It makes me sad, in a way, to read his journals...yet so happy he has blossomed, despite this horrific disease which steals something from him each and every day...leaving more of a personality, more love, more gratitude.  He was so burdened with life in so many ways.  I am not sure if it is just the way he was or if it was the devastation from World War II.  Physically, he was not injured, but emotionally, being a Marine fighting in the Battle of Tarawa, how could he ever be the same?

Maybe it is a huge Blessing he can't remember some of what he went through...his memory comes and goes.  His reality is mostly confused and full of fantasy, but at least he still knows who we are...

When I stayed with Dad, he told me of so many of his regrets.  He always wanted to visit the War Memorial in Washington, D.C.  My husband, Mom and I were discussing a trip for the four of us the month he went into the hospital...  He wanted to move out of LA county and move up to northern California and work the land.  He wanted to look up some of his old war buddies...

There is a lesson here for all of us.  Not to allow time to pass through our fingers.  To be in tune with what makes us happy and feel alive.  To move toward our dreams and make them materialize.  To realize, now will soon be tomorrow, and the past is a stepping stone to the present where our intention and attention become our future.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Called Christmas With A Capital "C"...

I don't know about you, but I am one of those people who prefer to say, "Merry Christmas"
instead of "Happy Holidays". It makes me feel good to say it.  When I say it, I am transferring years of tradition and gathering of friends and family when I pass the greeting along to those I care about...

I think of it as a very special birthday celebration and God loved us all so much He wanted each of us to celebrate with our families.  It is a time of love and forgiveness.  It is hanging lights, decorating, baking and special music.  It is setting up the tree with the manger beneath with an angel and star above it.  It is about thinking of those we love and showing them how much.  I love the fact Thanksgiving comes before Christmas.  First we are thankful, then we celebrate. 

My girlfriend emailed this to me and I practically stood up from my chair and cheered!

Click on the link below and see what YOU think...

Christmas With A Capital "C"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

ALERT...Has Anyone Received This Notification From Google?

Is this spam?  Has anyone received something like this?  I have received two, two days apart. It sound suspicious to me...

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Edited And Added Pictures Of Baby Jacob To Thanksgiving Post...

Please check out the two pics of baby Jacob I added to the Thanksgiving post today.  You might wonder why I never post pics or mention the names of my other two grandsons, the 6 year old and 8 year old.  It is because my oldest daughter is very protective and does not want their photographs or names posted.  I respect her decision, but I would love to share them with my blogging friends if she would ever reconsider her decision...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Confusion Is Just A State Of Mind...

I just finished posting three days of posts.  Please scroll down to the 25th and read backward from there...
 
                                    **************************************

Mom went to visit Dad today and he was still very upset about one of his lovers being killed. He had to have seen something on TV or overhead a conversation... Mom showed him great sympathy and told him to try and think of something else.  Mom thought he seemed more confused than he normally is.  but often Mom has difficulty making sense out of his conversations..she said he was not making much sense in their conversation.

There is a new nurse caring for Dad and he is quite taken with her too.  He kept calling her Austrailia, but also calls her Star... One of Dad's regular male attendants got a mohawk type hair do.  He told Dad he should get the same hair cut.  Dad roared with laughter!

Dad told Mom he needed new glasses.  Mom was not sure if he has lost his glasses again or not...Mom agreed, Dad's right eye looks terrible.  The nursing home called me last night and his primary doctor is putting Dad on some eye drops, twice a day for a week.  He just finished his antibiotics for his UTI.

Lunch was served so Mom wheeled him up to his friends so they could enjoy their lunch together.

Mom said several of the staff were confused, because Dad had told them all my husband was his son.  Mom clarified, telling them Dad thinks of my husband as one of his sons.  It all depends, some times he calls my husband his brother in law and some times his son.  My husband goes along with whatever Dad calls him. Happily, Dad has always loved my husband...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Digging Up and Cherishing Memories of Dad...

I slept twelve hours last night!!  We left my daughter's around 5:30pm, so we could check into our hotel. We were exhausted!  We both collapsed on to the bed and were asleep within minutes...

My youngest daughter woke me at 6am.  She and her sister had been shopping since 2am and were at the Walmart near our hotel.  They felt bad we did not get to see one another very long and wanted to come by and give us a hug.  We never ate dinner last night, since we slept through dinner, having our turkey dinner, basically as a late lunch.... so we were starved!  The hotel serves a breakfast from 6am to 9am.

As I opened the door to let them in, I could smell the delicious scent of breakfast foods waiving up past our room from the kitchen down the hall...

I could feel the chill on their cheeks as they both hugged me and came into our room.  My husband, in good nature, stayed beneath the covers and graciously enjoyed his early morning hugs from the girls.  They sat and chatted for about a half hour.  I told them we were very flattered to have them give up a half hour of shopping to visit with us.  We all laughed...

The girls left and we dressed and enjoyed our breakfast.  Our plan was to meet my sister and all visit Dad at the nursing home.  We would have lunch after and then my husband and I would visit my Mom.  When my husband and I drove up to the nursing home, my sister and Dad were sitting out front by the lovely flowers, enjoying the sunshine.

I had bought a cake for the staff, so after hugging my sister and Dad, I started to take the cake inside, and my sister drew my attention to Dad's right eye, which looked horrible!  He always has problems with that eye, but it was red all around the upper and lower lids and the lower lid looked really swollen.  It has a milky discharge which sticks to his upper eye lashes.  She showed me a few other things which concerned her so I could address it with the charge nurse.

I gave the cake to the charge nurse and asked to write a note to Dad's doctor, as he usually comes on Fridays.  I told her what my sister observed and also asked for whoever is shaving Dad to be extra careful as he has such sensitive skin.  The lesion on his upper lip looks bigger and the sides of his face look like some one shaved him without shaving lotion.  It was all splotchy and irritated...  He also needed his nails trimmed along with his facial hair.  His ears looked like he is growing ear muffs...

When I returned, I brought Dad's sun hat and sunglasses.  My sister has been asking Dad questions about his life and writing his answers in a little book, to help us with the book we want to write about him.  I asked her how it was going and she shook her head, and said, "Not so good.  He is really confused today..."

Dad had told her one of his lovers had come to visit him.  When they found out she was there for him, she was shot and killed.  He was very sad over her death.  We figured he must have over heard some one's conversation or seen it on the TV.

We did our best to distract him, but it was clear, the sunshine was making him sleepy.  It was almost time for his lunch, so we took him back to his room and enjoyed the fact both his room mates were out; so we could chat and it was easier for Dad to understand us without the outside noise.

His wall was still adorned with his 90th birthday cards and his birthday badge blue ribbon.  My husband joked with Dad about having a slot machine saved for him.  Dad loves to talk about coming to Vegas and playing the machines.  He and Mom used to come to visit and we would have so much fun playing the penny machines all together.

When Dad generated conversation on his own, he words seemed slow and deliberate.  He still uses a wonderful vocabulary, but he puts the words in appropriately for the conversation to make sense.  He seemed much more confused than normal.  I still look at my Dad and think he resembles Clint Eastwood, especially as he looked in Gran Torino...

Dad wanted to take a nap, so we asked if he wanted to have a nice lunch and then take a snooze.  He thought it sounded like a good idea.  My sister wheeled him as we followed into the lunch room.  Immediately, Doctor-Doctor, who was not feeling herself today, smiled and served Dad his tray of food.  He had chopped carrots, mashed potatoes with gravy and turkey, rolls, milk, ice cream and coffee.  Dad dug into the pile of carrots and didn't stop eating when we hugged and kissed him good bye...

My sister, husband and I went to Chili's for lunch and enjoyed a nice, leisurely, time together.  I took some chips, salsa, and half of my salad to be boxed  up for Mom.  The Quesadilla Explosion Salad is one of her favorites.  When I called her to let her know we were on our way, she told me she was just thinking about fixing herself some lunch.  Our timing was perfect.

Mom has been having problems with her Internet and could not pay her bills online.  Since she recently had new windows installed, I decided to check all the connections.  Sure enough, one of the wires was not totally connected.  Mom was thrilled and quickly took the time to pay her bills.

She showed me the beautiful Christmas stocking she has cross stitched for my 6 year old grandson.  She has been working on it quite awhile.  It it very detailed and will be a cherished family heirloom.  As soon as she sends it off to her friend to have it transformed into a stocking, she will begin on one for baby Jacob.  She has done one for each of her grand children and great grand children.  All six of us kid's stockings were made from red felt and beads.

Mom told me she had found several more of Dad's journals for me.  I am anxious to read them, as a lot of them are from the early years.  We also found the Race Results for the 10th Annual Santa Monica Full and Half Marathon, held Sunday, August 29, 1982.  My Dad was 61 and his time was 3 hours, 59 minutes and 45 seconds.  He placed third.  I remember I called to congratulate him.  I could not believe he had run 26 miles!  At 60 years old he gave up eating salt and referred to it as, "white death".  I am happy to have the results as I also have the jersey he wore during the race.

We sat in the living room, admiring her new energy efficient windows and talked away the afternoon.  We left about 7pm, back down to Corona to our hotel, and had a nice dinner with some wine at Mimi's Cafe.

Tomorrow we hope to see Jerry's daughter and youngest son.  If they cannot change their works schedules, we may just go home one day early...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Loving Chaos, Our Family Celebration...

We drove from Henderson, Thanksgiving morning and arrived at my oldest daughter's house around 1:45pm.  My two grand sons, ages 6 and 8, wanted us to play 'hide and seek" as soon as they opened the front door.  My youngest daughter's boyfriend was deep frying the smaller turkey in the backyard.  My youngest daughter was changing the baby's pants.  As my husband walked up to him, the baby smiled a big smile at him and stiffened his legs, making diapering a real challenge for my daughter.


Glancing into the kitchen, I see the 23lb. "Cristina Ferrare's" turkey my oldest daughter cooked, cooling on top of the stove.  It smelled delicious and filled the house with memories.  It is our family favorite seeped in years of family tradition. I ask where my oldest daughter was and Jodee, my youngest, told me she had a bloody nose and was lying down with an ice pack....as I walked down the hallway to her bedroom, I could hear her husband in the garage telling his Mother, who had just arrived the same time he did, he had to return to work. My son in law works for Verizon and some woman had a tree fall on her lines....

As I pushed open my daughter's bedroom door, there she lay with a Lightning McQueen ice pack across the bridge of her nose.  She had been carrying chairs into the house from the garage and did not clear the door jam, which stopped the chair and bashed her in the nose!  It looked like it hurt like hell, which she confirmed.  I attempted to pamper her and she would have none of it.  Being a Mother of two wild little boys, she is one tough, amazing woman... I tried to tell her to go the doctor, but she was already on her way back to the kitchen...

Traditionally, my daughters take on Black Friday like two shopping Ninja Warriors.  They plan their mission for weeks ahead, both on top of all the secret websites leaking the slashed prices and deals of the century, long before the ads are even printed. They schedule an early dinner at 2pm so they can have lots of turkey for the men to eat when they are gone ALL DAY SHOPPING...

My husband and I alternate between Nevada, my daughters and the family celebrations each year in California. I called my Mom, brothers and sister and their families, who were all celebrating at my second to the oldest brother's home, to wish them all a Happy Thanksgiving. I could barely hear my sister or understand what she was saying, because she was laughing so hard.  Apparently she found an app on her phone for various fart sounds.  There is a defect in our family's DNA to find hilarious humor in the art of farting...My brothers and brother in laws were experimenting with various family members as they proudly shared the different styles of farting on this app...

I hung up as every one was gathering in the kitchen, slicing up the turkey, setting the table, serving up the vegetables, the rolls and stealing a piece of turkey here and there...soon, the nine of us were crammed around the table for six.  The 6 year old announced we were going to pray.  I asked him to start us off....

"First, we close our eyes", he instructed,

"Then, we hold hands..."

"And then we say the words...thank you Jesus for all this food and God Bless us all..."

(despite his instructions to keep my eyes closed, I had to peek to enjoy his cuteness...)

"OK, now its your turn Dad"...

After his Dad shared what he was grateful for, his Mother (the boys other Grandma) shared, then my oldest daughter, the 8 year old, my youngest daughter, her boyfriend, myself and then my husband, who said he was grateful to be retired, and everyone laughed!

After dinner, my son in law left to return to work, the boys were off and running, climbing all over Grandpa, wrestling and laughing. The other Grandma did her best to referee. The boyfriend took his turn to nap as he is watching baby Jacob while the girls shop Black Friday.  The girls adjourned to the front room where all the ads were laid out as they strategically made their shopping lists for their early morning attack...

The baby was sleeping and I did the dishes.  The 6 year old came crying to me with a sore ear complaining Grandpa hurt him.  I gave him a teddy bear ice pack, kissed his ear and told him if he was going to play with the big dogs, he has to expect some bumps and bruises... I had barely finished my lecture, and he had launched himself into the air, aiming for the back of my husband/Grandpa's head...

The baby woke when the boys both were squealing for mercy as Grandpa had them both in the deadly finger lock...and Grandma yelled at the Cowboys on the TV who allowed the Saints to score...

I scooped my my precious baby Jacob and rocked him in my arms, patting his little bottom with a rhythmic pat...soon he was sucking his Binky like Maggie Simpson and drifting back to sleep as his eyes rolled back into the top of his head...


Jacob's mommy says this is his "roller coaster" pose when he is really relaxed.... usually a big, long stretch precedes this pose. :)

All was well in the chaos we know as our family...I sat and surveyed the craziness and commotion and smiled with love... Happy Thanksgiving everyone...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Am Thankful...

I am thankful
for my health,
 happiness,
 my husband,
my children,
my grand children.

I am thankful
for my Dad and Mom
my four brothers
and my sister.

I am thankful
for each and every one
of you
dear blogging buddies
who listen
who support
who share
laughter and tears.
without whom,
I would have
many lonely days.

I am thankful
to live
in these United States,
 for our
many freedoms;
despite
all the challenges
our country
now face.

I am thankful
for the food
on the table,
the roof over
our heads...
 for the Blessing
of spending time
 showing love
with my family
and friends.

~dkb~


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Two Months Old Today...


Two months old today...check out that outfit.....is it too precious or WHAT??

Here is the adorable "after the bath" pic my daughter sent to me on the 15th.  The one I wanted to transfer from my phone to my computer...is he CUTE or what!?

Here is the proud Daddy and Mommy with little Jakey...

The "Little Prince Charming" laughing at one of his Mommy's jokes...

Pacified, mellow and always stylish...

Listening intently to his Daddy as he tells him all about the fun they are going to have at Sea World...

Snug as a bug in a rug all cozy in his favorite blanky.

Waiting for my two month old picture of Jacob from my son in law...as soon as he sends it, I will edit and re-post with it at the very top...

Going to our friends house tonight for dinner, wine and maybe some card playing...

Have a great weekend everyone...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dancing With Dad...

*** artwork by Sue Whittick at Artist's Progress***

I awoke today with the most wonderful memory...me as a barefoot little girl, standing on Dad's feet and dancing... He would make the music himself by humming or singing to me.  He made me feel so safe and loved...  I have a huge smile on my face and will wear it for the rest of the day...

I called the nursing home and was able to reach Dad.  I caught him just after breakfast and before his shower...he sounded good.  I greeted him with my signature,
"Hello my Papa-doots!!"  And he responded...
"Ahhhhhhh, my Donna Dee..."
I am over flowing with joy each time he remembers who I am without me telling him...especially since it is usually over the phone.

My husband and I will travel back to California for Thanksgiving and we both look forward to spending some time with him....

The last time Dad and I danced together was at my nephew's wedding...


Dad boogied with Mom...



He swooned the Bride..


And he rocked out with me...


I love you Papa doots!!