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 I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Are these stepping stones offering me a path to the fruition of a dream?

Today is one of those pajama plans, no objective, other than to putter and probe. My husband needs these "lost weekends" to recharge from the stress of his job.  He becomes a professional napper.  Instead of being productive, getting projects finished, I tend to be absorbed into my creative quests...

After inquiring the other night, at our local favorite place to eat, the manager offered me her card.  I  had asked if they were under any agreement with the artist whose art adorns their walls...and what type of paintings they prefer.  Abstracts, were her answer.  She told me to bring in some of my work...

Never mind, I don't have anything big enough, as they want larger pieces. I could go into a creative vacuum and produce what is required... Often, I get such great ideas, at the right time, but then lack the productive fortitude to rise to the occasion.  Whether it is procrastination, or the process of being overly critical of my work, it sabotages me.

Often, when our Creative Genius speaks to us with these brilliant messages, we dismiss it or we hesitate. Not realizing those intuitive insights for opportunity, are gifts. If we don't listen, we lose the opportunity and it flows on to someone who jumps on it and rides it to completion...

The other night when my husband and I went to see a one woman show by Linda, from, promoting her book, BASTARD HUSBAND, A Love Story. I kept thinking of what she wrote on her January 28, 2010 post, entitled, Holy Crap, I have my own Las Vegas show!.. " Four months ago my book was still sitting in my lap top and now its for sale at my own Las Vegas show.  If I can do it, so can you.  I'm 52 years old; its never too late."

The other day, while having my eye glasses adjusted, my regular tech, Kenny, told me his 89 year old Mother just had a book published.  Two years ago, she wrote it down by hand and Kenny and his wife typed it up. It is entitled, A MOTHER'S STORY and it is about growing up in the Depression. It is not only being sold by Barnes and Noble and Amazon, but some Library in Pennsyvania wants it for it's documentation of history.

I sense these messages are not just happenstance.  These are the kind of whispers from my inner guide, prompting me, urging me to pursue my creative instincts. Nothing ventured, nothing gained... Dare I say it out loud? Are these stepping stones offering me a path to the fruition of a dream?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

God has provided him the ability to instantly receive all messages of love...

Mom and my sister went to visit Dad today.  They found him in the TV room, and despite being in the back of the room, Dad called her name as soon as she walked into the room.  Immediately, her day was made!

It was a warm sunny day, so they wheeled Dad out to the patio and began their visit.  They noticed Dad is still a bit shaky, but he was in a really good mood, and appeared happy.  He spoke of many of the same things he had discussed with my youngest brother E.

Dad told them he was getting a rocket from Cape Canaveral and flying into to space to teach all the children about God. He said he saw the President's face carved in stone, but did not think it was President Hoover. My brother sent an email commenting on maybe he was thinking of Mount Rushmore. My sister noticed how good his skin looked.  They really take care of his dry skin well there...

Recently, my youngest daughter found out she was pregnant, and had asked me to email everyone, as she was very sick with a cold.  I did as she asked, and as I clicked the "send" button, I verbally, said out loud to my Dad, as if sending him a loving thought, "Dad, you're going to have another great-grand child".  Today, Mom told Dad about my daughters news and Dad surprised us all by telling them, he already knew.  He smiled and said he remembered being told.

When I read my sister's email, about what Dad said, it made me cry.  It was as if in his mixed up jumbled mind, God has provided him the ability to instantly receive all messages of love... Like he had heard me when I spoke those words...

It was getting close to lunch time, so my sister asked Dad if he was hungry, and he told her he was not. Shortly after her question, his Angel, (his favorite aide) came out with Dad's lunch on a tray. She brought him meat loaf, squash, broccoli,  wheat bread, vanilla ice cream, milk, coffee and pears.  As my sister was cutting up his meat loaf, she said Dad almost stabbed her hand with his fork, he was eating everything so fast!  He ate everything, except for the pears and his bread.

They sat for a bit and enjoyed the sun, but it became obvious, he was growing sleepy.  Mom and my sister took him back to his room and got him all cozy in his bed, so he could enjoy a nap.  They kissed him good-bye, said their I love yous, and left him to his sweet dreams...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Childhood Memories of Bremerton, Washington...

I was thinking today about my childhood.  So many vivid memories of when we lived in Bremerton, Washington on Wright Ave.  We lived there for 5 years and moved back to California when I was 10. Our house was a Duplex.  We had underground trash cans, where the trash can was sunk into the ground, to the side of the front sidewalk by the front porch of our home.  Dad would step on a lever thing and the lids would fly open and then he dropped the trash into the can.

During the Summer,we used haul the empty can out of the hole, fill it with water and use it to cool off.  Maybe that is why my parents finally bought us one of those rubber blow up kind of wading pools...but we sure had fun playing in it. Our imagination was our best toy.  When we went down that hole we pretended we were in a submarine and it was flooding and we'd have to jump in and then climb out so somebody else could take a turn.

Whenever Easter rolled around, Mom would always line us up on the front porch and take our pictures before church.  My brother had to have a bow tie (went better with his buzz cut) and my sister and I had to have our hair "spring loaded" from having Mom make us sleep in Bobby Pin curls (yeowwww, those things hurt to sleep on, despite the scarf she covered the pins with and tied off at our forehead.  Kind of like an upside down diaper.)  We had to dress up for special occasions.  My sister and I had to wear a dress, hat (which looked like a Frisby), gloves and a purse.  I HATED IT.  I never felt comfortable in a dress unless it had pockets in it.  I was always in blue jeans.

There were no fences in those days, and the woods were right in our backyard.  The street below us, I think was Halverson and it was down the hill, below the woods.  When I caught the school bus, Mom could sit in our kitchen and watch me walk out through our back yard, go through the woods, come out in the neighborhood below us, and then down to the street where the bus stop was...

Mom used to tell me, I would fiddle-fart around on my way down to the bus and miss it.  I would then happily skip back home and Mom, having seen me miss the bus, would be really PISSED!  I think she did not walk me down, because she had my little brother and sister to wrangle if she did. Dad drove our only car to the Navy Ship Yards, where he worked.  He was also a Mailman for a short time.

I remember there was a cement wall on Halverson, about three feet tall, with various stair steps leading up to the front yards, breaking up the wall. I used to go play on the wall with my girlfriend.  One of our favorite games was to jump down from the wall, to the ground below and pretend we were under the ocean.  We'd see how long we could hold our breath. Who ever built that wall, was quirky, because there were marbles and shells stuck in it.  I loved exploring that wall and pretending I was finding a sunken treasure.

We used to play the board games,  Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. We would sit on the porch, drink Kool-Aid, eating bread, butter and sugar open face sandwiches, watching some blond haired girl touch her nose with her tongue...

In the summer, we would use old cardboard boxes, break them down and use them as sleds to slide down the grassy hills.  When it snowed, we shared sleds.  Even the grown ups would sled and ski in the backyards, which was simple enough because no one had fences.  They could sled or ski from the top of Wright Avenue, around the woods and down to the neighborhood on Halverson Street.

We had tool sheds for the mowers, shovels etc behind the Duplexes.  One time I ran away and hid in someone's shed.  Dad went out looking for me and found me because I was sobbing so loud...

Dad used to take me for walks in the woods and show me what kind of berries I could eat, and which ones I couldn't.  He even showed me some roots to eat, that tasted kind of like carrots but were white.  My friends and I used to build "forts" in the woods.  We'd dig a hole, then put sticks over the top and cover with ferns.

I remember when Dad took us camping with another family to Mt. Olympic National Park.  We weren't expecting it to be so cold, so Mom put extra underwear on our heads, for hats and socks on our hands to keep us warm.  We sat and laughed our heads off at one another.  Dad told us scary stories by the fire.

We all used to travel on the steel electric ferries across Puget Sound.  Dad would drive the car onto the ferry, then we would hold onto Mom or Dad with one hand and plug our nose with the other, because the gas fumes stank.  Mom and I were discussing the ferries, and I ask if she remembered the names of any of the ferries.  She told me we rode on Klickitat the most. (All six ferries were built in San Francisco in 1927 and named after areas in Northern California.  In 1951 they were bought to service in Washington and renamed with American Indian names.) I Googled it, and found a picture of one of it.

We used to bring those little plastic Cowboys, Indians and horse figures to play with on the ferry.  I loved to go with Dad to the top of the ferry, where it was nippy and cold. We would huddle against the wind, and it made my nose run.  I can still remember looking up at my Dad and liking the expression on his face as he looked out over the water...

I used to get so frightened when Dad would drive over the Puget Sound Bridge to Seattle.  I could look at the window, way down to the whirlpools below and think we would be swallowed forever if we ever fell in.

Dad used to take us on the beach under the Manette bridge to dig for a real ugly clam called goeduck ("gooey-ducks").  We had to dig like a dog, legs spread apart, bent over, and digging like mad with our hands to catch them.  They have this long hose like thing on them that holds a lot of water, and unfortunately, the clam is head down, while it's tail-hose thing is closest to the surface...One cloudy day, Mom, Dad and I were all digging, and one spit up at me, making me look like I wet my pants.  

Dad LOVES clams, oysters, sardines and Mom would make him eat it outside
because it grossed us out and we hated the stink from those things!! He used to have
some saying he used to always tell  us, "Don't eat oysters or clams in a month that does not have an "R" in it", so basically, not in the summer.  So that particular, cold, day, my wet pants made me a lot more than just uncomfortable!  I was freezing!!

Thinking about Dad so much lately, I am so Blessed that all these memories are still
so vivid in my mind.  It is keeps my Dad closer to me...

How Blessed we all are, to have the memories we do.  They are priceless, especially now.  Each of us, when we get together, find ourselves reminiscing and sharing our stories with Dad...

I wish I could have connected with you today Dad... I'll just have to try again

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We are living in a day that can't be repeated...

My youngest brother E, calls our Dad, "Pops".  E, being the caboose of the family, spent a lot more time with Dad growing up because he was in the house longer.  Even after he graduated from High School, he continued to live and pay rent to Mom and Dad for several years.  He and Dad have a very special bond.
I am leaving my brother's email to us as is, because I love the way he spins a story....

My brother told us that despite Pops not making any sense half the time, some of the times there is a lot of meaning in what he says.  Besides, we all have our moments when we use the wrong word or say the wrong thing, and if he can be half the man and half the shape Pops is in, he will be very proud of himself.

It's like all that Dad is, his likes, dislikes, passions, phobias, phrases, topics of conversation, his personality, are all tossed into a bag and jumbled up.  When he talks, it is like opening the bag and pouring it out on the floor.  Some of it comes out making sense, and a lot of it is all mixed up like Scrabble pieces.  That is what Alzheimer's is like.

Here is my brother's account of their visit today...

"Pops is Ronald Reagan today.
He wants to teach the kids to sky dive.
He's going to plant marijuana all over the sky.

I told him about my job and starting a business.
Pops said he was hoping I would start my own business.

Pops went up with the astronaut's into space.
Up in a spaceship and loved the view from up above.
There was a million pounds of marijuana grown up there.
Magnetize a band from earth.
Look down on this beautiful country and the American flag.
Control the magnetism in the sky
Strong and tight band.
Teach about it and you control whatever you want to do.
I asked him what makes him happy. He told me, I did.
He sees me as a leader in my business. Don't talk about it just do it.

God will take care of you. 
I asked him for some words of wisdom and he said "Love your neighbor as yourself"
"I'm so happy to be with you", he told me.
All of your natural abilities.
Pops then said to me, "Do you realize how much of a miracle you are?".  (That really made me smile.)
"The people inside the rec room see us and understand what family really is".
(Another big smile. :) from me.)

Women have all the power.
It is a beautiful day with a slight breeze
The lady's control him.
He loves people.
He loves his family.

I decided to ask Pops about some of his favorite things. Here are his answers:

Flower is the Lily
(Plant fields of Lilys not marijuana!! I told him.)
Food is peanut butter
Season is the fall when the leaves turn colors.
Movie actor is John Wayne .  Pops voice got real loud as he said, "All right you guys" and then let out a big roar, pretending to be the Duke... CLASSIC!!
 Drink is a can of beer.
 Animal is his old dog and best friend, Brutus
 Holiday is Thanksgiving.
 Color is sky blue then he looked up toward the sky. :)
 Ice cream is Pistachio.
Actress Maureen O'Hara. Pops told me how she was dragged around by the Duke... Big fight in the bar. Based in Ireland (The movie was, The Quiet Man)

Song is Chicago (then Pops busted out and sang it)
Favorite job teaching children in the sky

His girl will pull something funny on him.
She takes very good care of him. (I think she tickles him.)
"Rup, bup, bup, bup, ba!" he says. She's a doll.
He would like to shower all day long. (With her?? No, I didn't ask him that. lol)

He brought up Donna's grandsons and smiled when he told me, their parents protect them.

Pops said he got a nice call from our brother in Ohio. Both he and his wife talked with Dad. They wax the floors and watch ballgames.

Classic one liners from Pops:

He's not at war and doesn't care.
We are living in a day that can't be repeated.
These days don't come that often.
He wants to teach the kids about gods love and family
God, mom and his children are his biggest passion
Keep god first in your life.

That was our visit, so I rolled him back into the rec room. I left with a smile, a kiss and an I love you. "


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happiness and sweet surprises....

What a surprise!  Sunday morning I discovered Linda, over at had given me my very 1st blogging award!  The Happy 101 Sweet Friends Award.  Thank you so much Linda! The stipulated rules say I am suppose to list what makes me happy, and then pass the Award onto a unspecified number of recipients.

Glenn over at awarded it to Linda, listing nine, and Linda listed ten, so maybe I should do 11...( I hope this does not come off as self-indulgent...)

(NOTE:  It has taken me two days to follow Linda's instructions on how to attach a link...thanks Linda!)

1. My two grandsons absolutely rock my world!
They both live in California,
so besides visiting my Dad, Mom. Sister, Brothers, family and friends,
I spend as much time as possible at their house.
They make me laugh til my face hurts.
Nothing is worth more than driving four hours for their hugs and kisses.

2.  Both my daughters are also two of my closest friends.
The history we have being the "Three Muskateers" after my divorce from their Father, is still so powerful.
A visit from either one or both of them
(usually in the summer) absolutely makes me feel like a kid going to Disneyland!

3.  Sister time with my Sister. 
She is so talented and creative and works so hard at her job (she is the only woman in a sea of men and holds her own impressively!
We laugh and joke and share love for animals.
There does not have to be a plan, we spontaneously enjoy one another's company.
She is so very precious to me and our friendship makes me deliriously happy.

4. My husband's laugh and holding his giant bear-paw hands,
makes me feel gitty...still, after almost 10 years.

5. Animals make me forget any trouble or worry. 
Especially baby animals...particularly baby dogs and kittens.
I LOVE puppy breath!
Izzy has brought such joy to my life...
My reliable walking companion and fitness coach.

6. Music and dancing. (They go together for me)
Music is a such a source of joy and happiness for me, for so many reasons, so, this may get out of hand...
Not to copy Linda, but I too LOVE the song "CRAZY" by Gnarls Barclay,
Before I had Izzy, that song would propell me up hills when I was out walking with my iPod!
"ME AND MRS. JONES" by Michael Buble,
John Legend's, "SAVE ROOM".
I LOVE Adam Lambert, especially his version of "MAD WORLD".
I listen to Bon Jovi or Bruce Springstein when I clean the house.
In the car, driving, I have to listen to Neil Diamond .
"SOOLAIMON" and "I AM, I SAID" are two I like best.
Life time favorites have always been "CRAZY LOVE" and "MOONDANCE" by Van Morrison.
are songs I dance to with my grandsons...
(SEE? I TOLD you this would get out of hand...)
I enjoy smooth jazz, 'Nawlins, Louisiana type music, classical, country....
basically, most music except Rap...for some reason it makes me agitated.
I will dance to anything that makes my toes tap,
and I don't care where I am when the mood strikes me.
I am particularly fond of wiggling my fanny...
(Both my daughters can verify this embarrassing fact about me)

7. Food/Sweets.
I know, I know...this is not a healthy thing...
but it is a disturbing fact and heart felt truth about me.
I love to eat...especially Italian food.
And as long as I am being brutely honest,
I am a recovering chocoholic.
Brownies, with walnuts, fresh out of the oven,
absolutely, possitively,
send me over the moon!
I'd rather have them than a birthday cake.
I may as well throw it all out here...
(no one else will know besides just us, right?)
A chocolate chip, extra thick Blizzard 
from Dairy Queen made with chocolate chunks
and not the chocolate dip,
a pair of Hostess chocolate, cream filled cupcakes
has been one of my "celebration"/"bad day"
compensations since my childhood.

8.Nature's beauty
First would be the ocean and then the mountains
with sunrises and sunsets
in between.
I will stop and admire a big old tree
and enjoy hugging them.
Don't laugh! I feel their energy and strength...
Try it some time.

9. Girlfriend time with girlfriends.
OK, this one should have been further up towards the top...
but maybe it is in this postion because,
since moving here,
most of my bestest friends
are back working in California...
we don't get the time together
we used to have...

10. Going to the movies.
Since my Dad first took me to see
Disney's "Pinocchio" and "Fantasia",
I have been a huge fan.

11. Spending the weekend in Laguna Beach.
It is heaven on earth
to lie on that big bed
with the balcony doors open,
to hear the waves crash on
on the beach below our room.
and smell the salt in the air...
Writing or reading a book.
Walking around the village enjoying the shops,
the restaurants and street cafes,
Getting up early to beach comb and see the sunrise,
Dining at the Beach House restarant
watching the sunset...
Heaven, just heaven.

Now, for the best part...  
I would like to share this Award with the following blogs in Alphabetical order:

Angie at (Gumbo Writer)
Sonia at
dianne at
Willow at
Linda at
Shelli at (Market My Words)
Mari at (My Little Corner of the World)
JeannetteLS at
Helen at
Lisa at
Whitestone at (Wanna Walk Along?)
Debra at (Write on Target)

** Some of the above are published writers, but I appreciate them sharing their knowledge.**

*** Just click on their links to go check out these talented ladies***

Sunday, January 24, 2010

You just gotta have a sense of humor...

Mom went to see Dad yesterday afternoon.  She found him in the dining room, sitting with some lady she had not seen before.  The lady inquired if Dad was Mom's brother.  Mom told her he was her husband of 63 years.  The lady told Dad he had how well he had done...

The lady went on to tell Mom what a beautiful singing voice Dad has and how the Minister at their Sunday services really enjoys hearing Dad sing the hymns.  Mom smiled in agreement...

Dad was glad to see Mom.  She explained she had not come when it had been raining so heaviily, and he was glad she didn't, because he would have worried about her.  Dad went on to tell Mom how much he loved his Aide Angel and Mom nodded and smiled.

Several of the nurses, aides and staffers came by to chat with Mom.  The head nurse was chatting with Mom and asked Dad how he was doing.  Dad looked up at the head nurse from his wheel chair and told her how much he loved her.  Mom laughed and asked Dad where she was in the pecking order of his love?  Everyone laughed, so Dad joined in and laughed too...

The head nurse told Mom when Dad's favorite Aide was off, he was very quiet, sad and would not eat.  She said they had to tell Dad his Angel would be upset with him if he did not eat, so eat he did!  When his Angel (aka Doctor-Doctor) came by, Dad took her hand in his and kissed it.  Mom joked with her and told her she was speaking to the Administrator about not allowing her any more days off.  Everyone got a good hearty laugh from that comment!  Even the Angel...

Dad's appetite has definitely improved (think he is back on the appetite enhancers) as he devoured beef Stroganoff, beets, ice cream, custard, 2 big glasses of milk, coffee with 2 packs of sugar (he NEVER uses sugar) and poured his cucumbers in oil and vinegar over the top of his Stroganoff.

After Dad finished his meal, he wanted to go back to his room.  He told Mom he felt shaky and she could see his hands and arms shaking.  Must have been the two packs of sugar...His Angel stood beside his bed and he smiled up at her and closed his eyes taking a deep sigh of relaxation.  Mom hugged his Angel after she kissed Dad good night and left him drifting off to sleep with a smile on his face...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy memories of Dad and I...

My phone call today with Dad was very frustrating.  He rambled on and on about Doctor-Doctor (his favorite Aide) and how much he loves her. Sounded like he had watched TV and no doubt had seen the coverage of Haiti, and that influenced what he tried to tell me.  His conversation made no sense and he kept putting the phone too far from his mouth so I could not hear him.

The best part of the conversation was him telling me how good it was to hear my voice...

I am not going to allow our conversation to bring me down.  Instead, I found an Alzheimer's ribbon and a baby picture of Dad, Mom and I when I was a baby and put it on my blog. Instead, I will share some happy memories of Dad and I.

I was surfing the net today and saw a picture of an adult's bare feet and a child's bare feet on top of the adult's feet.  It made me remember when Dad used to take off his shoes and in his stocking feet, invite me, in my stocking feet, to stand on his feet and then he would dance with me around the room. He had different songs he would sing or hum to go with our dance. This activity erupted high pitch giggles from me as he held my hands and we danced around the living room...

He used to Poka dance with me too.  I can't remember the name of the song, but it was on one of Mom's records.  It was a real toe tapper and he would hold my hands and we would basically side step and skip all around the livingroom.  Dad would be huffing, puffing, laughing, and I would have the high pitched giggles and screams of delight.

As a family, we all watched Cheyene with Clint Walker as Cheyene Bodie.  At the beginning of every episode, it would say..."A wanderer roams the wild west"...and then he would lope in on his horse into the town.  I would imitate Cheyene riding in on his horse.  I could do it with comic perfection and it made my Dad roar with laughter!

Dad loved Westerns, especially anything with John Wayne. For years he had a life size cardboard cut out of him, that Dad kept in various corners of the house.  I think one of my brothers gave it to him...

I also used to sing the theme song to Paladin to entertain Dad. Richard Boone's portrayal was another of his favorites.    I would sing, imitating the singer's voice:

                           "Have gun will travel 
                                 reads the card of a man,
                               A knight without armor,
                    in a savage land.

His fast gun for hire

heads the calling wind,
A soldier of fortune
is the man called Paladin.

Paladin, Paladin,
Where do you roam?
Paladin, Paladin,
Far, far from home..."

These are the memories I will hold on to today...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Whoa!!! Awesome!!!

I finally got my snow capped mountains...

Is this spectacular or what?!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not a day for breathtaking vistas...

Early this morning on Izzy and my walk, I could not wait to take pictures of the mountains.  I imagined it to be even more incredible from yesterday... this is what I saw.  Nothing but fog and clouds.  It sprinkled as my neighbor and I walked our dogs together.  After one lap around the block, it began to become a light rain, and since I noticed Izzy's red slicker spotted with big drops of rain, I decided one lap was enough...

By the time I was sitting down eating my breakfast, reading the paper, and Izzy was chomping on her kibble, it was POURING RAIN!  I busied myself with laundry and cleaning after being gone five days as Izzy romped around the house playing with her toys, leaving them scattered around like a two year old.

I put her in her crate a little before 11AM and went off to my Art Class.  Just after our instructor arrived, after helping her carry in all her supplies, the sky opened up and we watched a monsoon of a rain cascade from the heavens.  Everyone stood admiring the rain.  This month alone, we have surpassed the entire twelve months of last year in rainfall.  I am so anxious to see the mountains...

Tonight, Izzy and I dine alone as my hubby has a big meeting at the Ritz Carlton in Lake Las Vegas.  I am busy with my decluttering and simplifying.  Less is more.  I have such a strong force within me to lighten our load.  It is one of my most favorite pastimes, on rainy days, to putter in the house and get things accomplished...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Early morning splendor...

Walked out of the house this morning at 7:30AM for a walk with Izzy, and had to go back inside to get my camera.  This was the view from my driveway.  The mountains looked GORGEOUS!

I can't wait to see what they look like tomorrow after all the pouring rain today...and still, the biggest storm is yet to come...

Izzy and I met an Italian lady and her little Yorkie named Bocce (Botch-ee) like the Italian bowling game.  Izzy was IN LOVE!  Such a cute little guy...

Continuing on our walk, I had to have a double-take looking at the mountains.  They looked like clouds at a quick glance...

It almost reminded me of the Alps the way the mountains towered above the valley below our neighborhood glistening in the rising morning sun.

Other early walkers and gawkers were out admiring the majestic beauty of the snow laden mountains.  One man asked if I noticed the fog that had rolled in covering the Las Vegas valley.  We NEVER get fog!

This shot is a bit blurry, I probably zoomed in too much... but I wanted to capture the fog below the mountains.

The news channels were promoting great skiing up on Mt. Charleston.  Piles and piles of snow!

By the time we were back home having breakfast, the wind was kicking up and it became over cast....shortly thereafter, it was pouring rain and did so the rest of the day.

Can't wait to see what splendor Mother Nature and El Nino will bring us tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thankful for moments and memories...

Thank you Lord
for holding the rain
during my travels back home

Thank you Lord
for Dad being available to talk
and no soreness from his fall

Thank you Lord
for my daughters
my precious grandsons
my family
my brothers
my bond with my sister
Thank you Lord
for the moments and memories

Made good time
 hardly any traffic
Izzy soooo excited to see me
making me smile and laugh
to see her happy face when she realized it was me
We RAN around the neighborhood
sooooo much pent up energy
 unpacked the car
out again to drain more energy
following me from room to room
unpacking and putting away
typing now on the computer
and she lies
passed out
on her office bed
still wearing her harness and jacket
such a pooped little pup..

Waiting for my hubby
anxious to have his arms
around me

Thank you Lord
I am so very thankful
for special
moments and memories...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dad had another fall...

I got a phone call from the nursing home telling me Dad fell again.  Apparently he was in physical therapy this morning, and gets very antagonistic when the therapist assist Dad in standing up. He yelled at the therapist and in doing so, lost his balance and started to fall.  He caught himself on his wheelchair, on his way down, (luckily, the wheels were locked) and ended up sitting beside it on the floor.  He was laughing when they rushed to him to see if he was OK.

The nurse told me Dad did not even have any scrapes or bruises, but the doctor had been called any way.  She wanted to assure me he was fine.  We discussed his poor circulation and the blister on his left foot, and possibly that contributing to him being off balance.  I asked if they were giving him regular time to keep his feet elevated.  She agreed, and said Dad was now sleeping with his feet elevated. She told me she had just finished talking to my Mom.

I called Mom to compare notes, asking if she knew if Dad's Angel Aide was working today. Mom did not know, and I did not call.  I had limited time with the boys and wanted to continue to soak them in as much as possible.  Later, when I am home, and miss them, these precious moments are what console me.

I can call tomorrow when I am driving home.  I can talk with Dad and see if he remembers it.

I took a four hour nap today after the boys left to attend a birthday party.  I needed it.  These two little boys have more energy and quicksilver, nano second diversity in how they direct that energy,  and it totally wears me out!  I laugh until my face hurts.  They both have a wonderful sense of humor.  They memorize songs and put on shows for me, mimicking voices like little parrots.

I really have noticed these past two trips to California how exhausting it has become... It may be a combination of the anticipation of visiting with Dad, not knowing how I will find him.  And, no doubt, it is the constant on the go, visiting everyone.  I get very little sleep from staying up late and getting up early trying to squeeze all the time I can with each person.

I better get to sleep.  It is almost 1AM, and I must be up early to make french toast for my grandsons, one more time, before I leave...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In the company of little boys...

I am watching my two grandsons, (ages 7 and 5) while my eldest daughter and her husband went out for dinner.  We are engrossed in an Lego Indiana Jones Adventure Follows II game on their Wii. They are on part 2, but the younger one keeps pouncing back and forth between the game and playing Tic Tac Toe on my iTouch.

This is pretty exciting stuff, but when we conquer and win enough "studs" (money) then we have plans on watching Aliens in the Attic.  My eldest grandson keeps telling me how funny it is. He assured me it won't scare me...

My daughter just called.  She is bringing us home Panda Express. The boys are excited... the younger one was eating some of his french fries from his Burger King lunch with his Dad... They LOVE Dad to babysit because they get "junk food".

I am totally amazed at how efficient both of them are on computers, video games, and basically, any tech type toy... Their Dad teaches them all this stuff so they can all enjoy it together.  I tried it, but quickly was "fired" for messing up so much.

Earlier today, my two daughters and I were out for the day while her husband watched the boys.  We all had a great day...

Opps...the youngest one just asked with a "pretty please" if I would play Pictureka... I can't refuse that sweet face....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dad won at Bingo...

Mom went to visit Dad and found him in bed.  His left foot has a blister on it.  His circulation is really bad in both his legs, but he refuses to wear his compression stockings.  His feet were a bright purple and had to be elevated in bed to get the blood back to his feet.

Mom got him up and took him in to play Bingo.  The cards are huge and the markers are big poker chips to cover the numbers called.  Mom helped Dad and he won!  They give him play money to spend in the Bingo store.  That made him happy.

Mom apprciates the nice Aide that calls Dad, Papa.  We all thank her whenever we are in there to visit Dad.  Dad did not have much to say, so after Bingo, Mom had him tucked back into bed so he could eat his dinner...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Doctor, Doctor and Papa-Palapa...

 I walked into the dining room and found Dad sitting at a table with a spaghetti ring around his mouth and cookie crumbs in his lap.  He had his eyes closed, a big smile on his face and was talking reverently, as if saying a prayer.  I stood and listened to him for a little while.  Impressively, he is good at rhyming words.

I gently touched his shoulder and then his face.  He opened his eyes with delighted surprise, calling my name. I cleaned him up and wheeled him back into his room to put on his shoes, a sweater and the afghan Mom knitted for him in his lap.  I wheeled him outside on the patio...

Dad has had sex on his mind a lot lately, and today was no different.  He went on and on about his favorite Aide and how he would take her with him when he leaves for outer space.  He told me how much he loved her and how good she was to him.  How she really showed her love to him by caring for him so well.  I agreed with him, and told Dad we all loved her too.

His voice was kind of raspy and hoarse, like Clint Eastwood.  I kept getting him glasses of water and he would completely suck down the water through the straw and barely lose a beat in his one way conversation to me.  I just kept refilling the glass, smiling and nodding in agreement.

Dad told me he was cold and wanted to go back to his room.  As I was wheeling him into his room, the nurse called to me and told me Dad had a blister on his left foot.  She was there to check it and treat it.  Another male nurse came in and told me he was just going to call me about Dad's blister.  The nurse pulled off his shoes and socks and I was shocked to see his dark purple foot.  Dad has very poor circulation in his legs, and refuses to wear his compression stockings.  Siting long periods in his wheel chair with his legs hanging down, will not help his circulation!

We agreed he should get in bed and elevate his feet.  I could start to see a more normal color returning to his feet...  His favorite Aide came in to check on Dad.  She spends a lot of time in his room.  I noted her sweater and bag were on Dad's bedside table.  I told her how much we appreciate her and how much Dad responds to her.  Dad turned to her and said, Doctor, Doctor.  Apparently, that is what Dad calls her.  She playfully rubbed his head and asked how her Papa-Palapa was, and he beamed with happiness and told her he was just fine now that she was here!  We all laughed...

We chatted as we were trying to find something Dad liked on the television.  He did not anything, except talking with her.  I stroked Dad's hair and he told me how good it felt and shut his eyes.  Before we knew it, he was asleep.  I kissed him, telling him how much I loved him and let myself out...

Until next time Papa-Palapa...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Arrived to California safe and sound...

It was a hectic morning, finishing up all the loose ends, loading up the car, and waiting at the Vets to drop off Izzy.  We had to wait over an hour, but Izzy was very friendly with the dogs in the waiting room, which was a pleasant surprise.  Finally got out of there by 11:30 am.

I turned on my new Susan Boyle CD and 3.5 hours just flew by.  I think that is a new record for me.  I was totally lost in thought, and I caught myself doing over 80 mph a few times.  Gotta watch that...

Got to Mom's house and had some time to visit before she went off to have her hair done.  I unloaded and relaxed a bit.  When she was finished we were off to Chiles for the the 2 for $20 dinner.  We had a good visit and then went to see LEAP YEAR.  What an adorable movie!!!  We both gave it a thumbs up. Gorgeous scenery of Ireland...

Mom is watching Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, while I am on my lap top.  My eye lids are heavy, but I have a topic for my other blog and want to get it down while I have it in my mind....

Tomorrow I go visit Dad...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another trip to Ca on the road to love...

Despite the on and off rain, I got most of my errands and cleaning done before I leave.  I will board Izzy tomorrow at her Vets again. This time for five days.  She did very well over the Christmas holidays, staying four days.  Before we boarded her for the holidays, we boarded her over night, just to make sure she knew we were coming back.

My plan is to spend two days with Mom and visit Dad, a day with my sister, and two days with my daughters and grandsons.  My husband is having two of his buddies over while I am gone.

Right now I am so tired the thought of a four hour car drive across the desert is the last thing I feel like doing...but give me a good night's sleep and I will be ready for another trip to California, on the road to love...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A sexy and happy visit with Dad...

Both my younger brothers called me early this afternoon to share their visit with Dad.  They had me on speaker so we could all converse freely. They found Dad in the Bingo room, sitting in his wheelchair with his eyes closed. They walked up to Dad and my youngest brother tapped Dad on his shoulder.  When his eyes fluttered open, they grew wide with excitement seeing both his sons. 

Immediately he was happy and telling them they were miracles and an answer to his prayers.  His face lit up with exuberance, his eyes twinkling with joy!  They asked if he wanted to play Bingo or go outside on the patio.  A woman patient near by announced Dad hated Bingo.  Dad enthusiastically agreed and told the boys to get him out of there...

Dad must have told them ten times how happy he was to see them.   He told them of being in outer space and looking down watching the earth spinning.  Seriously, he told them how he loved space exploration.  He said it was important to have money and started worrying about bills etc.  My brothers quickly reminded him it was more important to be happy.  Dad smiled and looked up to the sky telling them how good the sun felt on his face and how nice it would be to go for a drive, as he had not been out in ten years. (Might feel like ten, but has not even been a year yet...)

My youngest brother took the opportunity to redirect him.  While Dad was looking up into the sky, my brother pointed to the sky, and asked Dad, "What is the most important thing to stay happy Pops?" Usually, when he does that, Dad answers with loving the Lord or having faith in the Lord...My brothers looked on as Dad appeared to have a "light bulb moment" and then looked directly at his sons and exclaimed,  "SEX IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! Sex makes me so happy!"  Needless to say, my brothers had a real tough time keeping a straight face....

Dad went on to tell my brothers how sexy he felt and loves it when his golden haired beauty lies next to him in bed and sings to him.  Almost speechless, and wondering if Dad gotten some Viagra by mistake. They chuckled and smiled, changing the subject and asked Dad if he would sing something to them with his golden pipes... Dad broke out in strong voice with "Chicago, Chicago what a wonderful town!"....

There was more talk of how sexy Dad is and how the women love him.  My brothers smiled and patted him on the shoulder agreeing with him as they all laughed.  My brother told Dad to keep up the good work. We all laughed with joy at how happy Dad was, not caring one bit about the sex talk and his imagined affairs with other women...keep on dreaming your dreams Dad...

The brothers wheeled him back inside and he announded he wanted to go to his room for a nap.  It was almost lunch time, so they took him back to his room, giving him hugs, whisker rubs and telling Dad how much they loved him.  We all agreed, it was another great visit with Dad.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Glorified cardboard boxes with amenities...only $640 per month!

I read an article in the paper today, profiling two men in Tokyo.  One was a former tuna fisherman and the other a student studying economics at a regional university. They stay in these capsule hotels which are 5 feet wide and 6.5 feet long. The capsules are stacked two high, have plastic walls, so it is quite possible for one to be jabbed by a neighbor's foot or elbow while sleeping.  No door, only a screen to pull down.  It has a coat hook to hang your clothes, but most belongings have to be stored in lockers.  A small TV with earphones is provided, as well as a light, thin blanket and a hard pillow of rice husks. Basically, a placed to crawl into and sleep.

Twenty years ago, Japan built these Capsule Hotels, to provide a place to sleep for salaried workers who missed the last train. The government  began to notice the change in people staying weeks and months at a time. Starting this year they began to charge 59,000 yen $640 per month for an upper bunk and got permission to allow the residents to live the hotel's address as their official home. Within the last two years, these type hotels are averaging 100 out of the 300capsules rented per month.

Sure beats a cardboard box outside in the cold...but how ingenious of Japan to come up with such a solution! The government provides fresh linens, lockers, a communal bath and sauna.  There is a cafeteria as a common area of the hotel where one can sit, watch TV, eat and visit with other guests.  There is no upfront charges or utilities. The article stated the hotel reeked of cigarette smoke, which can't be too healthy...

Relatively speaking, that is a really high price for box like container where one cannot even stand up!  I have always heard how expensive Japan was, but this is the topper!  I know here in Nevada, people can rent a three bedroom apartment for $800 to a $1000, in certain areas. I am sure that price is dirt cheap compared to what the rent must be in Tokyo.  Still, it is the capsule hotels are the last step, before living on the streets...

Japan is suffering the worst recession since World War II, with their jobless rate at 5.2 per cent. (California and Nevada are both 12.3 per cent.) This record high is in sharp contrast to the industrial power they have held since the 1970's.  The article said over 15,800 live on the streets, which they estimated as low, because of the hidden population that lives in these capsule hotels and sleep overnight in all the internet cafes.

I can't even imagine how frightening it would be to be homeless.  To not have a job or a home.  To be forced to sleep unprotected, out in the cold... especially back east where the homeless are literally freezing to death on the streets. It is a definite sign of these difficult times we are all in right now.  I just could not believe my eyes though, when I read the article...definitely ingenious...but still, a glorified cardboard box with amenities...only $640 a month....WOW!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A GREAT visit with Dad...

My precious sister went to visit Dad today.  As she walked down the hallway, about six feet away from Dad, and he held his arms out stretched to her and yelled her name at the top of his voice!  Made her day.  His favorite aide, let's just call her his Angel...had just given him a shower, shave, trimmed his eyebrows, put on fresh clothes, combed his hair and even spritzed on some cologne.  My sister said he smelled wonderful!

We could not have hand-picked a better care giver for Dad.  His Angel loves him and favors him.  She calls him Papa.  Dad is all smiles whenever she is around.  If he is not eating, the staff calls her and then Dad will eat for her.  She brings him in fresh homemade Menudo and Tamales.  My sister kept hugging  her and telling her how much she means to us knowing how she is caring for Dad.

My sister brought her manicure set and did Dad's nails.  His Angel wheeled him outside while my sister carried the fresh water for his hands to soak.  It was  a gloriously gorgeous day with the sun shining brightly on them. Afterward, my sister showed him the Dominoes and they played a game or two.  Dad could count the  dots and remembered how to play. Dad began to close his eyes and told them how wonderful the warm sun felt on his face.  Like a child being strollered into the sun, he kept his eyes closed and felt sleepy.  My sister heard music and singing coming from inside and knows how Dad loves music.  They wheeled Dad back inside and Dad began to sing...

After my sister returned from putting away the Dominoes, she found Dad asleep in his wheelchair.  She started to wheel him back to his room, but one of the Aides told her she would take care of him.  My sister found Dad's Angel and told her she was leaving, and that Dad was asleep.  She told my sister she would go get him and tuck him into bed.  My sister thanked her again for all she does for Dad and assured her we all are so grateful for her.

My sister told me this was the happiest she has seen Dad in many months...she had a GREAT visit!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Spring Cleaning...

I start re-organizing and cleaning in January so I will be all ship shape by Spring.
Separating my 2009 records from my 2010 records is always a chore I hate...
so I like to do big jobs first.  Besides, I have to get ready for tax time.

There is something so invigorating about getting my world in order...knowing where everything is, instead of several hours searching in drawers and cupboards trying to remember where I last saw something.

I am so anal, I save everything...I laughed when I read a new blogger friend's blog about throwing out 35 years of calendars...that is me too!!!  I also save old phone books..old cell phones.and old glasses.  I swear, I have to donate all that stuff...

I like to start a new year with a clean takes me an entire year to pile it up with papers and things to read.  I rarely read the things I save, so I am going to do my best to not hold on to so much paper.  I could save a forest of trees if I could get all the junk mail to stop.  I used to get scads of catalogs, but felt too guilty contributing to the killing all those trees. I canceled them all... Some days, I feel like I am drowning in paper!

With everything going on with Dad, I have gotten so behind.  I used to feel like I was half way organized, but lately, it's a real crap shoot trying to find anything I am looking for...

Friday, January 8, 2010

The most beautiful girl in the world...

Yesterday, 65 years ago, Mom and Dad met on a street in Seattle, Washington while Dad was on leave, with two of his Marine buddies.  Mom worked as a Fashion Illustrator and her boss had just opened his own Art Gallery.  Mom and her girlfriend, who attended Art School with her, had acted as Hostesses for the grand opening.  Mom and her girlfriend had finished hostessing and were on their way to the bus stop when they past the three Marines.

The Marines followed them and they all stood talking at the bus stop.  Dad would later tell us the story, over and over, through the years, and he described it as meeting the most beautiful girl in the world.  He asked for her phone number and he had nothing to write with, so he memorized her phone number.  The last time he told us the story was this past June, while celebrating Father's Day in the Psych Ward...  Dad repeatedly her phone number, as he has done thousands of times before...Grant 4404.

Mom went to visit yesterday and took Dad flowers. Unfortunately, she did not remind him of the date, because she didn't think he would remember.  I wished she had so he could have had that happy memory.  Every time he told the story, he would smile and have a twinkle in his eyes...

Dad enjoyed smelling the flowers and smiled.  Mom said he seemed tired and talked steady and softly.  Mom had brought some pictures of his only remaining sister and her children, but Dad could not see it without his glasses.  Mom had him try some magnifying glasses which did not help, yet, he held onto the photo anyway and smiled and as Mom described everyone in the photo.

Dad asked about his nephews and his sons.  Mom told him they were in school and his sons were busy working.  Mom thought his face looked thinner and he seemed very tired.  He voice seemed to fade away to almost a whisper as he drifted off to sleep and dream.

Mom spoke with Dad's favorite Aide and she shared with Mom how she had shaved and bathed him that morning.  He had been very happy. She calls him Papa and is so sweet and gentle with him. He had only eaten ice cream and his supplement drink for lunch.  When Mom dropped off a bag of lemons from one of Dad's trees, the nurse told Mom he had lost 4-5 pounds and if he continues to lose, they will put him back on the appetite enhancers.

I called the Social Worker at the nursing home today and asked about Dad's missing glasses (third pair gone missing).  She told me they had ordered more.  Still no approval on his hearing aid, and the Dentist only recommended a cleaning for Dad.  For over a year, Dad has had a hole in one of his teeth on his left side from the loss of a filling.  I called the dental company, and the Dentist is suppose to return my call on Monday.  No doubt they will wait until Dad is in agonizing pain, then they will want to pull his tooth....

I asked about his weight, and she told me Dad is steadily putting on weight and that on the 5th of January, Dad weighed 147 lbs!  Some wires are crossed some I will stay on top of it and continue to be Dad's Advocate...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Phantom of the Opera....

I talked to Dad yesterday.  He was asleep, but I asked the nurse to wake him up.  He sounded groggy and his voice was deep and his words slurred.  Normally, I hate talking to Dad when he sounds like that, but I have not spoken with him since Christmas.  I wanted to visit with him one more time before we left California...but our visiting and traveling schedule was just too hectic.  I really wanted to erase that negative visit from Christmas...

I must have awakened him in the midst of one heck of a provocative dream.  I apologized for waking him and asked him how he felt.  He told he was feeling pretty sexy...

Now, talking sex or any subject relating to sex has never been a subject Dad was ever comfortable discussing with me...or anyone in the family for that matter... when I was a child, I had heard the "F" bomb for the first time.  I asked my Dad what it meant. Being a self proclaimed Farmer, he proceeded to bore and confuse me silly when he launched into various species of animals, flowers and something about fertilizer.  I lost interest, and it wasn't until years later before I received the explanation from one of my preteen friends...

Dad was telling me about the reality of purity and it seemed every other word was passion. He told me he had been enjoying the epitome of what he has to share with his dream girl.  I am not sure if that was Katie Couric, his favorite aide, or Mom...but it really didn't matter to me.  If it gives him some pleasure and happiness, go for it Dad...

He asked me if I felt it was wrong...and I told him reality is relative.  He told me, "I feel like the Phantom of the Opera"...  His comment almost stopped my heart...

I could not help the tears welling and cascading down my cheeks.  The thought of him sleeping more to enjoy a richer life... to dream of a woman who loves him and he loves her...those precious moments shared between a man and a woman, that so many take for granted.  Dad will never experience that in real time, only in his dreams.

So many activities and moments he will never experience again...yet, knowing Dad, he does his best to make the most of what he does have... It is so easy for us to say, "this is no way to live"...but to him, every day is precious, because life, being alive, is everything when you consider the alternative...he has a strong will to live.

Almost every conversation with him, he tells me how Blessed he is...

I think back to last May when I stayed with him, and I am so very grateful for that time.  Even though it was emotionally draining and physically exhausting, there were when we would sit down after dinner and have Bible Study together.  The look on his face when I read to him, and the sound of his reverent voice as he read to me.  The way he would enjoy a cup of coffee.  Watching him through the kitchen window, doing what he loved to do, puttering around in the back yard...

Despite how off he was these past several years, the precious memories of Dad, when he was my real Dad, keeps me going during these difficult times... I love you Dad.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January? You could have fooled me....

Izzy and I embarked on a long walk this morning...this is a shot of the back way out of our community.  In the distance you can see the M Hotel and Casino, the newest Hotel/Casino at the beginning of Las Vegas Blvd.

You can see the streets are pretty deserted, hence our many peaceful, quiet walks...

The mountains have a slight dusting of snow...but check out that sky!!  It was so warm, I was sweating when we returned home!!

Walking further down the previous photo of the street, around the corner and up the hill, this shot through the trees, (see in between the branches) is a different perspective of the M Casino/Hotel...

I like this shot...I may use it for a painting...

This is almost at the top of the  hill....

This is coming back down the hill toward the "valley of roof tops"....which is what I call the valley or canyon where we live...

It was an absolutely gorgeous day.  Perfect walking weather...

January?  You could have fooled me...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It seems like Dad is going into hybernation...

Mom went to see Dad shortly after lunch today. His favorite aide, told Mom she had just put him to bed.  She told her Dad has been very tired.  The RN told Mom Dad had slept in late this morning.  They may put him back on the appetite enhancer medication because his appetite has waned and become inconsistent.
Mom went to Dad's room to show him a picture she had printed from an email of one of Dad's best friend and his wife.  Dad and he used to be Chaplains together at Foothill Presbyterian Hospital in Glendora.  He was so kind and such a regular visitor with Dad, until his own Mother went into hospice.  Mom described the picture to Dad, but he would not even open his eyes to look at it.  He called her by my sister's name...
Dad's aide, showed Mom the cardboard horn he blew New Years Eve. The aide put it to his mouth and after some gentle coaxing, Dad tooted it for her.  Mom asked if he had watched the Rose Parade, but he told her he didn't know...
As Mom was leaving, she noticed a picture of Dad in bed with Santa standing beside him.  The nursing home had pictures of most of the patients with Santa on their bulletin board.

It seems like Dad is going into hybernation...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ready or not, here comes 2010....

Happy New Year everyone!  We brought in the new year with some good friends.  I whipped up a big batch of Italiano spaghetti, followed by a rousing card game.  At mid-night, we all went outside and blew our noise makers and "poppers" and blew our horns.
It was a nice, relaxing, fun evening.

We invited our friends to spend the night and the next morning, I cooked up a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, O'Brien potatoes, turkey sausage links and fresh french vanilla coffee.

Once the champagne and wine wore off, I realized I had twisted my back and spent most of New Years day, napping, after watching our youngest son's College Band in the Rose Parade...

Izzy enjoyed herself, and did not want to be left out of the festivities...doesn't it look like she is saying, "Happy New Year"?  (Actually, I think it was a yawn, and  more like, "When are you weirdos going to stop all the racket and give me some peace and quiet so I can get SOME SLEEP!!")

My wonderful hubby went out into the cold last night to purchase some of those ICY HOT patches for my sore back.  Those things really help!

I am contemplating my new years resolutions...but so far, my head is a blank....