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...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year...Farewell 2011....


from google images



Happy New Year everyone
a new year, 2012
new beginnings
a fresh start
opportunities to seize
habits to break
new projects
begin exercising
keep that diet...
definitely 
a night of good intentions.

I wish all of you
health, happiness,
safe travels
and good times
with family and friends.

~dkb~



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve Laughter with Dad...

Christmas Eve day, my husband and I left Nevada and drove to CA.  We went directly to Mom's house, picked her up and went to Marie Callendars for lunch.  Afterwards Jerry drove us to visit Dad.  We found him in the dining hall watching TV and waiting for dinner.  We wheeled him to the sitting room with the piano in the front of the nursing home.

They had a beautiful Christmas tree decorated in green and blue bulbs....of course Dad told us it was decorated just for him since those were his favorite colors.

Dad was very excited to see my husband Jerry.  When he first saw me, he called me, Holl Doll, which is his pet name for my sister, then he realized it was me.

I noticed the alarms did not sound when we wheeled him through the security doors and Dad's eye looked HORRIBLE.  I sat and visited for a little bit then excused myself to go talk to the charge nurse about the batteries and his eye.

When I returned, Dad was telling Mom how ticked off he was and he could have given the guy a clip to his chin...  Mom was telling Dad he knew better than to lose his temper...

To change the mood, I presented Dad with a 1st Marine Battalion pin from one of my husband's friends. He had asked me to give it to Dad the next time I saw him.  Dad was very emotional and thanked us for delivering it to him.  He wanted us to tell Paul, my husband's friend, how much it meant to him.

I gave Dad his Christmas card, which I had to read to him.  He loved it and thought the votive candles on the front of the card were shot glasses...

"I would like to take a trip to Las Vegas..." Dad announced, as he turned to look at Jerry.

"That sounds GREAT to me," Jerry smiled

"I know what you like to do with the ladies Jerry..." Dad leered...

Jerry burst into infectious laughter, which ignited Dad's funny bone and they both sat there laughing their heads off, with Mom and I joining in....

Jerry told Dad, "Yeah, we will party!"

Dad perked up, sitting tall in his wheelchair and bellowed, "PARRRR-TAAYYYYY!" .... which made us all howl with more laughter!

There was a woman sitting beside us who was trying to write in a Christmas card and was totally distracted, laughing with us...

Dad offered to take us all out to dinner... Mom gently shared that we had to drive to Riverside to meet my step-daughter and her husband for dinner.  Dad understood, telling us we could do it another time....

The CNA came to change the batteries in Dad's wander guard and informed us dinner was being served.  We all walked with Dad back to the dining room, while I wheeled Dad into his place at the table.  He pointed out a smiling woman with long, flowing white hair and told us he would sit with her.... Jerry leaned in toward Dad's good ear and whispered, "We know how you like the ladies..." which gave Dad a big laugh and a gleam in his eye....

After we all kissed and hugged, I borrowed some scotch tape and hung Dad's Christmas card to his wall of love in his room.  My sister and Mom had visited the day before and Holly had arranged all Dad's cards in a tree shaped form on the wall.  It looked awesome, so I carefully placed our card to the side to expand the width of the tree...(Mom took the 1st Battalion pin off Dad's shirt and we told the charge nurse we were putting it in his drawer for save keeping.)

Mom had to run a quick errand on the way home so we stopped by the Post Office so she could drop off her mail.

It was short, but a great visit with Dad.

We enjoyed a nice Italian dinner at Romano's, one of our most favorite restaurants with our daughter and son in law that night.  We checked into our hotel and waited for our youngest son to get off work at Disneyland. Dressed in his uniform, still wearing his apron, we exchanged gifts, sitting and chatting for awhile. He is the one who will be leaving for the Marines in April when he turns 21.  He left around midnight and we collapsed into our bed and fell immediately asleep.

Christmas morning we drove to my oldest daughter's home, joined by my youngest daughter and her family.  We exchanged gifts and enjoyed all three grand sons playing with their new toys.  My daughter made us a delicious ham luncheon with all the fixings.  Jerry and I left mid afternoon to see the movie WAR HORSE directed by Steven Spielberg.  It was excellent. Everyone clapped at the end.

After the show, we drove to my youngest daughter's home for a yummy prime rib dinner and private play time with baby Jacob, who is now 15 months old.  It was a wonderful evening which ended at 10pm. We drove back to our hotel after fighting the holiday traffic on the freeways...again, free falling into our beds for much needed sleep....

The day after Christmas, we checked out of our hotel and drove to Irvine to visit my husband's grand daughters who loved the skates we bought them.  We all went out to lunch at Islands and then visited and until they had to leave to exchange a broken scooter....

We drove back to my older daughter's home to spend the night as we were watching the boys the next day while my daughter goes to Orange County for Jury Duty.

While watching the boys the next morning, I noticed Delilah's cone was no longer around her head.  (Delilah and Dutch are their brown labs and Delilah has the cone so she will not get to her spayed stitches.)  I called the neighbor to take Dutch to his house and called my son in law.  My daughter called telling me she was excused from Jury Duty and when I told her about the cone, she had to get to the vet to get another one.

By 2pm, the cone had been replaced and we were on the road back to Nevada...the traffic was stop and go, but we made it home in four and a half hours with my husband cussing in Italian most of the way...

Hope everyone had a wonderful, Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

There's a Rumor They're Shipping Me To Mexico...

Dad called Mom the other night.  He wanted her to call his doctor, not his attorney (he does not have an attorney) because "they" were going to "ship him to Mexico"...

Mom asked who told him and Dad told her, "I heard it was a rumor".

Mom assured Dad he was too well loved there and no one would want him to leave...

"OK, good" and with that said, Dad hung up the phone...

The nurse called me two days ago and informed me Dad had GAINED six months this month...  Dad had lost 8 pounds in October and 7 pounds in November so we suggested more ice cream.  The staff agreed plus they are giving him a liquid supplement drink with his meals as well.  Guess it is working.

I hope I can talk with Dad tomorrow.  We plan on seeing him the day before Christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nice To Be In Chicago...

My sister Holly and Mom went to visit Dad yesterday.  They found him in the activity room listening to music by his favorite guitar playing Chaplain.  He looked all spiffy with a shave, hair cut and nails neatly trimmed.  Dressed in holiday red he was all smiles to see both of them!

Dad 12-10-11

They took him outside to chat.  He seemed disoriented a bit as he told them both it was so nice to be in Chicago...  He told them he was happy and was so blessed to be in such a wonderful place where everyone took such great care of him.  

Both Mom and Holly told him how handsome he looked and he told Mom how beautiful she was.  She shared some forwarded messages to him from some of their friends at church.  Mom and Holly could tell by the expression on his face and the fact he kept calling them different names from the ones they were discussing, that Dad had no clue who they were.

Dad's eye looks horrible and the lesions on his upper lip and left temple area seem to be growing, but Dad is oblivious to them.  He appears to have no worries at all, which is such a relief and we are so grateful to hear. Happily, Dad is wearing both an ankle wander guard and one on his wrist!  Double protection from him wandering off...

Dad yawned quite a bit during their visit and said he wanted to take a nap...so when lunch was being served in the lunchroom, Mom and Holly wheeled him in to eat.  Dad was served a delicious looking lunch of baked fish, mashed potatoes, green beans, jello, coffee, milk and ice cream.  Holly seated Dad next to an older gentlemen named Walter who never seems to have many visitors.  My sister said the next time they come, she is going to invite him out on the patio with them.  I think Walter was in the Navy if I remember correctly...

Mom said Dad polished off his lunch as fast as "Grant went through Richmond"... I had to laugh, as I know how fast Dad can empty his plate, but this expression is one of Mom's favorites...as she came from the south...

Mom kissed Dad good bye and Holly blew her traditional kiss from the window and Dad reached up to grab it as he always does...  It was a very nice visit.

Mom and my sister went to lunch at Millie's and had a nice lunch and conversation.  When Holly brought her home, my brother and niece's fiancé were both at the house fixing Mom's fence.  It had blown down during the last wind storm.  My niece has a dog and a cat, who both get out due to the condition of the fence, so it was a big relief for them to fix it for them.

My sister in law was there as well, so Holly, Mom and she visited in between supervising the fence repairs.

My brother in law is doing amazingly well after his surgery, although his stitches irritate under his jeans and he is looking forward to having them removed this week.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fourteen Months Old...

Jacob, all dressed up, ready to roll and celebrate being 14 months old on 11-20-11. Check out those kissy lips!

Jacob smiling with his many teeth awaiting his first Thanksgiving Turkey...

Wanted to share a couple more pictures of Jacob, but for some reason, I am getting error messages when I attempt to upload the photos... Maybe there is yet another problem with Blogger...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I Get All My Love From Turkey...

I called Dad today and asked how he enjoyed his turkey dinner.  He raved and gushed about eating everything on his plate, wanting more and getting another plate full.  Dad loves turkey as much as he loves spaghetti.  " I get all my love from turkey!" he laughed and I could not help but laugh with him...


He made sure I knew he was kidding, and once again thanked me for finding the nursing home for him.  He always tells me how wonderful everyone is to him and how much he loves all of them.  It is music to my ears, no matter how often he tells me, because I remember how it was two and a half years ago when he first was diagnosed and had to move into a home...

Doctor-Doctor was in the room with him.  She had just given him a shower and was getting him dressed and all ready for visitors and lunch.  I told Dad to tell her hello from me, which he did and I could hear her telling me hi as well...

I had spoken with Mom earlier this morning and she told me she and my sister Holly were going to visit Dad today. I told Dad they were coming and he was excited.  He sounded so good and so upbeat, this news just added to his happiness.

Dad today during his visit with Mom and Holly

Mom and my sister arrived just before Dad was served lunch.  They took him outside on the patio of the nursing home and enjoyed the sunshine.  Dad complimented Mom on how great she looked and was so happy to see my sister.

Mom called Dad's sister on her cell and let Dad speak to her.  They had a wonderful conversation and both were so happy to talk with one another.
Mom was enjoying a good day and feeling really positive and walking without her walker.  Dad was so happy to see Mom feeling so much better.  

Dad's eye still looks very red and irritated but Dad insisted it did not bother him at all.  When it was time for Dad's lunch, they hugged and kissed and said their good byes... Dad was anxious to get to the lunch table with his friends, not to mention the food...we all know how much Dad looks forward to eating!

Mom and Holly went for a nice lunch after their visit celebrating Mom feeling so much better and the great visit with Dad.

I am so very grateful Dad is happy where he is and so happy to hear how well Mom is doing.  Thank you everyone so very much for all your prayers and well wishes.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone....


UPDATES:
Mom's MRI went well...she took it like  a champ.  She meets with the doctor for his recommendations next week...

My brother in law came through his surgery well...they even had him up and walking two hours after the surgery!

My colonoscopy went well, the prep was not even bad...everything is A-OK!

Thank you so much my dear friends for all the positive thoughts and prayers!

Blessings to everyone...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Please Pray....

My Mom has claustrophobia and has to have a two hour MRI on November 21st.  The X-ray showed a fractured spine, arthritis and osteoporosis.  The MRI will show all the soft tissues to help determine if she has a pinched nerve. The doctor is exploring why Mom keeps having the electric shock sensation in her legs. We would really appreciate your prayers as the MRI is going to be a real emotional challenge for her.

My brother in law is having knee surgery November 22nd.  Please pray for the surgeon, his doctors and for his speedy recovery and healing.

One of my friends has a mysterious paralysis and has been bed ridden for several months.  Her doctors just discovered a lesion on her spine through an MRI.  Please pray for her surgeons, doctors and her quick recover and ability to walk again.

I am having a colonoscopy on November 22nd.  I would appreciate  your prayers too.  In 2007 I was one of 40,000 people who were exposed to Hepatitis B, C and HIV from two Las Vegas colonoscopy clinics re-using syringes and anesthesia vials.  Our records were seized by the police.  I underwent blood tests every 6 months for two years and tested negative for everything.  Recently I had some tests and both my GYN and Primary Care doctor feel another colonoscopy should be done again for my best interests. Please pray for good results.

Thank you!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dad Turns 91....

Dad turns 91 today...although he thinks he is 102!  I called him this morning and had a good conversation considering he didn't hear much of what I said or asked, but he commented on what he thought I said and we worked with that...

Mom and my sister went to visit Dad and he was THRILLED to see them...

My sister took this really nice picture of Mom and Dad. She felt she should retouch the picture since Mom plans to use the picture for this year's Christmas cards...

Didn't my sister Holly do a nice job? Still such a cute couple...

They found in the lunch room scarfing up his lunch.  After he cleaned his plate, he ate half of the carrot cake my sister brought him.  He told them how wonderful and great he felt.  He was very animated and excited about his birthday celebrations, telling them how popular he is...

Dad told them how he had no worries and was so happy.  (What a blessing to all of us to hear this...)
He talked of owning the Breeder's Cup and then remembered being in prison.  Being protective, my sister told Dad it must have been a nightmare and changed the subject...

Mom asked if Dad knew how old he was today...Dad told them he was 102.  Maybe he is competing with his lunch mate, who is 105!  According to the nurse, he does not take any medications!  Good for him!

My sister noticed Dad's wander guard was on his ankle instead of his wrist...she wondered if that is why Dad may have thought he was in prison?

Dad told them both he enjoyed a nice long conversation with me this morning...

My sister read him all his birthday cards.  He smiled sweetly, listening intently and thanked her for reading all the cards, as his glasses were lost. (They were in his drawer...)

The chatted for about an hour before Dad began to yawn and announced he was ready for a siesta.  My sister hung all his cards on his wall of love while "Pickles" (Dad's nickname for her) tucked him in all cozy in his bed.

They hugged and loved him up and as my sister stood at the door to blow him a kiss as she usually does, she could see Dad was already fast asleep....


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Updates on Dad...

10-20-11 Received a call from the nursing home:  Dad had lost 8 pounds the month of October.  They will be giving him a supplemental drink twice a day.  I tried to talk with Dad.  I could hear him perfectly, but he kept telling me he could not hear me.  Doctor-Doctor said she could not hear me either, so I know it was not Dad.

He told me, "I know you are calling to tell me how much you love me.  I love you too dear...I am sick and throwing up, but I am doing just fine..."

After I hung up, I called back to speak with the charge nurse.  I told her what Dad said and asked if he had been throwing up.  She assured me he was fine and they had no record of him throwing up.  I told her about the phone and she promised she would call the maintenance to check the phones.

10-25-11 was Dad's Care Conference:  Mom's friend drove her to the conference and helped Mom with her walker.  They both went in to visit Dad, but he was asleep.  The nurse said she knew Dad would want to be awakened, but Mom's knees were starting to really bother her, so they left.  Mom said the report was all good and despite losing the 8 pounds, he is still in his normal range for his height and age.

10-28-11 Received a phone call from the nursing home regarding Dad's roommate having a contagious rash.  Both Dad and the third roommate would have to be treated with some special antibiotic cream.


10-29-11 Called the nursing home and spoke with charge nurse.  I wanted to know if it was safe visiting since I was staying with my daughter and did not want to take any chances of exposing my young grand sons to the rash.  Two of the three boys have very sensitive skin.  She advised me to wait until the following Tuesday, giving them 4 full days of the treatment.  I explained I was going home on Tuesday.

Instead, I called my sister and we decided to take Mom to lunch.  I gave Dad's card to my sister as she plans on seeing him on his actual birthday when he turns 91.  We met at Mom's and took two separate cars to Islands restaurant.  Mom has been using the walker my sister bought for her.  She tried to walk three feet from the chair to the couch and almost tripped.  Her knees keep feeling like she is having electric shocks.  She will be going to pain management classes and to have an MRI.

When Mom and I returned back to her house, I asked if she was using her Life Line bracelet or necklace.  She informed me she had not been able to activate it yet because she was still looking for a good place to hide the front door key.  The police and fire department need to know where there is a key hidden to get in should there be an emergency.

She also was having problems with her computer and some other small things she needed help with.  We resolved all her issues and I left her house about 6pm and headed back to my oldest daughter's home.  She had made spaghetti and garlic toast, so I was anxious to get there...

11-3-11 My youngest brother E went to visit Dad for an early birthday visit. When my brother walked into the dining room, Dad greeted him by calling him the oldest brother's name.  E____ corrected him and Dad told him he loved him. Here is a picture of Dad opening the card he gave to Dad:

My brother E____ has a golden lab and three Havanese dogs.  Dad was very close to them all, but knows the yellow lab is getting older and having some health problems.  One of the Havanese is particularly protective toward the lab and they sleep together and the smaller dog grooms the lab.  The picture is the two of them together.  Dad loved the card...

My brother offered to take the card to Dad's room and hang it on his "wall of love".  After my brother hung it, Dad appeared in his room telling my brother he would like to eat his lunch in his room and visit with my brother there...

Shortly thereafter, Doctor-Doctor arrived with Dad's lunch tray.  When Dad saw it was liver and onions he decided he was not hungry.  He began to warn my brother he might throw up.  E____ took it in stride and went and got him a basin bucket, just in case.  E____ suggested Dad drink his milk and mashed potatoes to settle his stomach, and told him he would be OK.

 Dad ate everything except the liver and onions...I had to laugh at the expression on his face.  No doubt he is making an "icky face" for the disdain he holds for liver and onions... LOL.

Dad said he had to throw up, because if he didn't something might happen... my brother used positive thinking and just told Dad he would be fine and he did not HAVE to throw up.  Dad agreed it was a great idea and a positive perspective, announcing he felt much better.  Doctor-Doctor brought Dad a nice assorted fruit plate with cottage cheese, and Dad quickly scarfed it up.

To use my brother's description, they "rip-rapped" for an hour or so until Dad let him know he was tired and wanted to take a nap.  They exchanged love and hugs and my brother left Dad's room.  As he walked up the hall, he noticed an older man sitting in the doorway of his room with his white bathroom open down to his waist.  As my brother approached, he noticed the man was "bursting with golden showers" all over his bathrobe and the hall way floors....

The nurse was right behind my brother so when he turned to check if she was still there, she was already attending to the gentleman.  We all have had similar experiences visiting the nursing home.  It is not pleasant and if one allows the surroundings to get inside one's head, it would undoubtedly affect one's frequency of visits.  We simply have learned these past two years, to take it in stride...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Good News, Bad News...

Dad's Chaplain friend and former co-worker, who still is a volunteer Chaplain at the hospital, prison and nursing homes, came by yesterday to visit with Dad.  He sent Mom an email telling her how well Dad looked and how happy he is!  He said it is the best he has seen Dad look all year and asked if Dad has gained weight...which he has.

They sat on the patio for over an hour and discussed John Wayne, Nelson Eddy, Jeanette McDonald, Seattle, an Alaskan Cruise, sports, lots of mutual friends and many more things.  He told Mom he really enjoyed himself.

He had needed to take three months off from the Chaplain service to keep his sanity.  He and his wife were remodeling their kitchen, their daughter had gotten married and they also had family from England staying with them.

We were all so pleased to hear of their wonderful visit.  Dad has wonderful friends and it is so good they continue to come and visit him.  I know it means the world to Dad.

I want to call him tomorrow as he is due to have his conference call on Wednesday.  We have been very busy beavers around our home.  We are shredding, cleaning, making Goodwill donations, selling some old furniture with a consignment shop, buying some new pieces, having the carpets and tile cleaned, the grout cleaned and resealed.... and the decluttering continues.

My husband and I have been enjoying going out and about together instead of me on the computer and him in front of the TV... we have been searching for a few new things to give our home a fresh new look since we just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary!

We celebrated at a wonderful Italian restaurant at Green Valley Ranch called Terra Verde.  Some of you may remember it from Gordon Ramsey's Hell's Kitchen.  Two different winners of the show got head Chef jobs in Vegas, one being Terra Verde.

They serve a delicious complimentary relish plate of tossed peppers, artichoke hearts, black and green olives, cheese and lightly battered zuccini slice chips.  Their bread is an assorted basket of  various breads and bread sticks.  We had soup, ceasar salad (next time we will split one) and split Chicken Picata. 

We could barely waddle away from the table!  My husband had two Lemon Drop martinis and I tried a Raspberry martini made with Belvedere Vodka which was suggested by our food server.  WOW was it yummy!  I am not a big drinker..but this did not even taste like booze.  They use fresh raspberries and I guess the vodka has a citrus in it which tones down the raspberries. 

It was such a nice dinner and a wonderful evening.  We sat over candle light with white linen table cloths and just really enjoyed one another.  We exchanged beautiful cards and called it a night.

Now for the bad news.  Mom is not doing well...in fact my sister and I do not think she is getting better.  She has canceled all her many activities, including church, which she so used to enjoy. We are very concerned for her. 

She was only going out twice a week, to have her hair done and pick up her Jenny Craig food...but going grocery shopping is too much and she needs someone to go for her.  Last week she did not even go to Jenny Craig. 

She feels like her legs are going to go out from under her.  She keeps feeling like there are electric shocks going through her legs.  Sounds like a pinched nerve to me... She really is miserable.  The physical therapy does not seem to be helping...

Today, my sister brought Mom two walkers she had purchased at the thrift store.  One for upstairs, one for down.  We all think Mom should switch rooms with my niece, who lives with Mom, as Mom sleeps upstairs.  Mom is not happy about it because she loves her cross breeze she gets sleeping in the fresh night air.  If she slept downstairs, she would not leave her windows open.  She would not feel safe.

Mom has mentioned to both my sister and I how difficult it is for her to keep up that big house.  She has to hand water because Dad never wanted automatic sprinklers.  He always enjoyed watering and talking with the plants.  The house is just too much.  I hate to think of not having the ol' homestead to go to and visit...but the times, they are a changing...

Mom would probably be extremely relieved and happy in Assisted Living.  She would not have the burden of all the upkeep attached to owning a home, plus she would have scheduled activities she could pick or choose to enjoy and she would have her meals prepared for her and a nice private little room to sleep in...preferably on the 2nd floor...

Dad is in a nursing home and needs 24 hour care.  Mom does not need that... so they would probably be in two different areas... We may have to start searching around as my niece is getting married next summer and will move out of the house.  I would imagine, depending on what we can find for Mom, we may have to sell the house to pay for the assisted living... Medicare or Medi-Cal does not pay for Assisted Living, unless we can find something through HUD.

We found the nicest place in Riverside, CA for my husband's Mom.  It was wonderful!  The food was really tasty.  I used to go and have lunch with her as often as they would allow me to do so.  Lots of fun activities and exercise.  Really a beautiful campus.  I want something like that for our Mom...

Please keep both Mom and Dad in your prayers, as I know so many of you do.  I am hoping for a miracle for Mom...she is so full of life and I hate she is having so much pain.  She does her best to be strong, but pain has been an unwelcome visitor and it has overstayed its welcome with Mom!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tender Moments...

My sister Holly went to see Dad Saturday.  She found him snoozin' in his wheel chair.  She stood behind him and rubbed his shoulders to wake him.  He came alive with excitement and his face lit up with huge smiles and joyful laughter.  He was so happy to see her!

She took him out on the patio and gave him a manicure.  Dad hates to have his nails too long...besides, he loves the attention and hand massage my sister always gives him...

 Poor Daddy...his fingers are so crooked with arthritis...Bless his big heart....

I have been having my usual difficulties in reaching Dad (in between all the stuff we are doing to the house preparing for more company the next two weekends....) so my sweet sister called me so I could chat with Dad.  She also called Mom so she could chat with Dad.  She also tried our brother in Ohio, but his voice mail came on.  My sister had Dad leave a message for him.  She noticed Dad was getting a bit emotional, so she quickly changed the subject and got him thinking about other things...

She drew Dad's attention to the beautiful fall leaves on the trees in the patio area... Dad loves nature as much as he loves his family, so admiring the colors and the magnificent blue skies set him off on a long rambling discussion on trees, flowers and pleasant out door memories....

My sister could hear the guitar music wafting in from the lunchroom... one of Dad's favorite visitors is a Chaplain who comes and entertains with his singing and guitar playing... Holly wheeled Dad back inside, knowing he would enjoy the music....

Holly stood behind Dad, again massaging his shoulders as the Chaplain strummed his guitar... she looked around the room and felt sad for the other residents who rarely have visitors.  Some looked at her and looked sad...

Being a tender heart, she found herself feeling sad for the lonely ones....Dad seemed to pick up on it somehow, squeezing her hand and he told her lunch would be served shortly, so if she wanted to go, it would be fine with him.  He told her how much he enjoyed the music and all his friends...

Holly hugged him good bye and blew him their traditional kiss from the hallway.  Dad caught it and smiled, waving good bye and throwing her a kiss back...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's Good to be Home...

Dad called Mom a couple days ago...

"Hello? K_____?"  (Dad called, thinking he had called my brother at Mom's house, but she was out....)

"You need to call my attorney and get him down here.  I am sick and I need him."

Dad hung up.

I called the nursing home and spoke with the charge nurse.  Apparently, Dad had thrown up his morning meds after taking the bigger pills with applesauce.  He only threw up once and was fine at lunch.

I wanted to speak with him, but he was sound asleep...

We arrived home on Monday, along with a big rainstorm, complete with thunder and lightning... Tuesday we re cooperated some more.  Both of us are nursing backaches from riding around in the car so much.

The memorial service was wonderful...

It is good to be home...

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Pleasant Surprise Upon Waking...

Talked to Mom today...she said my youngest brother E_____ went to visit Dad yesterday.  When he arrived, Dad was asleep.  Doctor-Doctor told my brother Dad had left specific instructions to wake him if any family came by.  She also inquired as to how Mom was doing.  All the staff miss her...

E______ woke Dad... "What a pleasant surprise!'  Dad recognized E____ immediately, hugging him and telling him how good it was to see him.  They went out on the patio and had a nice visit.

Dad wanted to make sure my brother told all of us how well he was doing and how great he felt...  love you Papa-doots....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dad is Re-Enlisting in the Marines...

Dad called Mom tonight...  He wanted to know if his Marine Corps uniform was still in the plastic zipper bag in the hall closet.  He has decided to re-enlist.  He asked Mom if she knew where his hat was.  Mom told him the Corps would have to issue him a new one.

He told Mom he was planning on setting up a tent in the back yard...

Dad wanted to know if Mom realized their daughter Holly now works at the nursing home... Mom reminded Dad my sister works for a hardware company... Dad chuckled and agreed he was probably mixed up.

He asked if their grand sons still lived down the street... (they live in the next town).  Mom told him they were divided their time between their Dad's home and their Mom's home with her new husband.  Dad wanted to talk to my brother S_____  and Mom quipped, "wouldn't we all!"  Mom told Dad my brother was busy going to school, working on his Masters and working a job at night...

Dad thought Mom said Pastor's Degree....

Both my parents are life long Republicans.  Dad told Mom he liked President Obama and thought his job plan and taxing the rich were GREAT ideas.  Mom grumbled under her breath, as Dad asked her how she felt about it. Mom told him she would NOT be voting for him...

Mom was watching the Angel baseball game and asked Dad if he was watching too...He told her he was and thought they were doing so great shooting all those baskets...  Mom snickered and agreed with him...

Dad told her about a "beady eyed" woman he really liked and wanted her to be his counselor...

Talking non stop, Mom could not get many words in, but Dad said he felt fine but needed a toothbrush.  Mom suggested he talk to one of the nurses and they would give him one.  He told her that was a great idea...


He didn't ask how Mom was, only that his phone had not been working, so one of his lady friends help fix it so he could call her.

Mom is still not going many places as it hurts too much to walk.  She is also taking Fosomax.  I could not take it.  It made me sore all over and made my ankles and knees feel like I had been hit with a bat...  I wonder if that medication is adding to her problems...her doctor says she is "on the road to recovery", but from what my sister said, Mom still looks to be very much in pain...

We have been having a lot of work done on the house and the days have been flying by... we leave for Tucson, Arizona tomorrow to visit friends and then attend a family funeral on Sunday the 2nd.  I plan on calling both Mom and Dad while we are driving tomorrow...

When we get back, we have birthdays and our ten year anniversary, company from New York coming to stay a week, celebrating two years since we adopted Izzy, our dog and then I have a trip to California for my grand son's 7th birthday, trick or treat with them and then visit my Dad for his 91st birthday....

One of our anniversary gifts is to see the Eagles in concert in November.  We will make a night of it and all the friends and family members in attendance will be all staying over night at the MGM Grand Hotel.  Should be a fun night!

I hope to pop in once in awhile to blog and visit other blogs...but I also have a new exercise plan I have decided to get started on...so wish me luck on that!

Hope all of you are well...  I miss you all and look forward to talking with you soon!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One Year Old Today!!!

First birthday picture of Jacob. One year old today.


Arrival at Toys R Us for a shopping spree...


Birthday shopping at Toys R Us

Happy Birthday Jakers!



We had a wonderful celebration two earlier at the Santa Ana Zoo, under a canopy of jungle plants.  Sadly, my oldest daughter was really ill with the flu, which developed into bronchitis, so she and her family could not make it.  We took lots of pictures to share with them however...



Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Mystery is Solved!

I got a phone call from the nursing home.  The nurse who promised to investigate to find out who was helping Dad make phone calls to Mom...discovered who it was....

IT IS DAD HIMSELF!  Just when we think he cannot do something, he shows everyone how capable he really is!  She watched him go to his room, when all his roommates were gone.  He picked up the phone and dialed.  She could hear him talking with someone, so she ventured into the room and asked who he was speaking with...

He ignored her and kept talking.  That is when she left and called me.  Sure enough, I called Mom and she said Dad had called her.  He wanted to know how she was.  He was very concerned about her. He asked if they could go to church together.  She told him she had not been to church because she still is having trouble walking...  He was very understanding and apologized for not remembering... Mom said the conversation was very short and pleasant.

We are all blown away as Dad could not dial the phone without Mom helping him prior to going into the nursing home.  I guess the meds he is on for the Alzheimer's is helping in some way.  We know it is a "hit or miss" situation, but apparently, at night, he can dial the phone...

Tomorrow we leave for CA for little Jacob's first birthday party!  I promise to take plenty of pictures to share...

I spoke with my oldest daughter today, Jacob and his mommy stayed over night at Auntie's house because both my daughters wanted to watch the Finale of Big Brother.  I could hear Jacob jabbering and squealing in the background.  Apparently, he was walking up a storm and having a blast playing with his 9 year and 6.5 year old cousins.

We plan on visiting Mom and Dad after we drop my step-son in Riverside...

Have a safe and happy weekend everyone...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Marine Has Landed...

I will taking a break for a couple of weeks.  My step-son joined the Marines and flew in today for a five day visit.  He was told to "be ready" any time between October and January to leave for boot camp. The first two weeks, he is not allowed any contact with the outside world.  After the two weeks, he can receive letters.

We don't know if he will be here for Christmas so we want to enjoy our time with him before he leaves. He will celebrate his 21st birthday this April. If he has leave, he said he would want to come back to celebrate with us.

What a difference already.  He no longer eats "junk food" or carbs, soda, or chips.  The Marines require him to do PT twice a week and test once a month.  He works out six times per week "for his own preservation".  His spiky, stylish hair is all shaved to a "1".  He still looks so handsome...

The end of the week, we will all travel together to California to celebrate Jacob's first birthday. Jacob has four teeth on the top and four on the bottom now, cutting some other ones.  Still has peach fuzz on his head, but he walking! Where the heck did this past year go???

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mom's X-Ray Results...

Mom received the results of her x-rays.  The doctor believes her pain is from compression fractures to her spine and arthritis.  The doctor gave her a pain shot, pain medication and is sending her to a pain management clinic.  She will have another x-ray and an MRI to verify the diagnosis.  They are not sure if the compression fractures were a result of her fall last April...but it is a definite possibility.

I spoke with her the last couple days, she was having a rough time with the pain medication making her feel nauseated.

Dad called Mom again.... (unbelievable!)

"Hello?"


" I wanted to tell you some important things..."

"Big things are happening around here..."

"I really am happy here and I feel GREAT!"

Mom started to tell Dad she has been nauseated from the pain medication....and Dad cut her off and continued to go on about all the things he is in charge of...

Mom asked who helped him dial the phone.

"I don't dial, I just punch in the numbers on the buttons..."  Mom was shocked to hear this, not sure to believe him, as he could not push the buttons on their home phone prior to going into the nursing home.

Mom could hear someone talking in the back ground...

"Don't interrupt me, I am on the phone..."

The phone was disconnected.

Will have to call again and have the staff find out if Dad is calling Mom on his own...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Father is...


Words taken from lyrics written by Sonny Bell
image from Pinterest


“He’s a son’s first hero. He’s a daughter’s first love.” Their eyes filled with tears as they listened to the song lyrics their father had written just days before. At 47, Sonny Bell seemed too young to die. His battle with cancer began in 1998 when he was diagnosed with melanoma. It was detected early, and for eight and a half years, Sonny thought he had beaten it. In the fall of 2006, he learned he hadn’t. The melanoma had moved from his skin to his brain. For five months he fought the disease, and it seemed he was making progress. But on March 26, 2007, he felt a sharp pain in his chest. Hours later, the blood clot took his life."  -- The Lookout magazine

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dirigibles and Other Concerns...

Dad called Mom last night... she recognized the number and did not pick up.  She asked me to call the nursing home to check who is allowing Dad to call her.  When he calls, it is always at night and he has "Sun downers syndrome" in the late afternoon.  His calls are very upsetting to her because he sounds so mixed up.

She listened to his message:

"Hello?"

"I just wanted to make sure you had seen the third Dirigible crash...."

"Lots of people died... it is so terrible..."


" I saw them ascend to heaven..."

"NO!"

"Why do you almost interrupt me when I am trying to make a phone call?"

The phone disconnected...

Mom told me Dad was 17 when he saw the Hindenburg fly over Connecticut before it crashed in New Jersey.  It really traumatized him.  Every time the Hindenburg's crash is discussed or shown on TV or appears as a question on Jeopardy, Dad re-tells the same story...

I attempted to call, but Dad was waiting to be served lunch in the dining room.  The nurse asked me to call in a half hour... she told me they all know to call me, so it has to be a part time, new employee on the evening shift, who helps Dad call.  She promised she would investigate...

I will try again in a half hour...

I just hate thinking of Dad remembering something so traumatic and not being able to talk with one of his family to calm him down.  Course, most likely he has forgotten all about it...

During Mom and my sister's last visit, Doctor-Doctor assured them not to worry.  She told them both how much Dad is loved there and how they take good care of him.  She told them not to worry... Doctor-Doctor was very concerned with Mom's fall and how long it is taking for her to recuperate.  Assuring Mom, she just needed to do what she had to do to feel better....

Mom used to have a very busy schedule, but now she only goes out twice a week.  Once to Jenny Craig to pic up her food and to get her hair done.  All her volunteering and attending to church has come to a temporary hold.  Her groups will be starting back up this month, and she still does not feel she is up to it.

I am very concerned about her.  I urged her to consider Life Line, where she wears an electronic locket around her neck in case she should fall.  All she would have to do is "click it" and it would signal she needed help and the company would call an ambulance.

Mom has a false sense of security with her grand daughter, my niece, living there. My niece just graduated from LVN school.  This weekend she is gone to the mountains.  During the day she is at work or school, in which case, Mom is alone.  If she should fall during the day, she would lie there until my niece came home.  She told me she would think about it...


My niece plans to marry July of 2012, so I hope Mom does it before then...  If I call and she did not answer the phone, I would call a family member to go check on her...

I was relieved to hear Mom plans on asking her doctor to schedule an x-ray or MRI to get to the bottom of why she is still having pain in her legs and back... She will not consider a cane or walker as she does not trust it to be stable.  She feels more secure leaning on walls, the refrigerator and furniture...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Some Days...

I called Dad yesterday... he was sitting in bed, watching "a good movie" and eating his lunch.  He knew who I was, but our conversation was bizarre.  The only positive was him telling me, "I got love."  Nothing else he said made any sense.

He probably was attempting to tell me about the movie... some days, it is just very frightening and disturbing.  It makes me miss the Dad I used to have... some days,  I have to work at not allowing, the fact he has to live in a nursing home, to take me to a dark place...

I love you Dad, so much... and I miss you....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bless His Heart...


I just got a phone call from my sister, Holly.  She picked up Mom and they had gone to visit Dad.  They were suppose to call me so I could talk with Dad.  My sister warned me it had not been a good visit...

When they arrived, Mom was surrounded by the nurses and staff as she has not been to visit Dad in over a month.  Her fall last April has taken its toll on her back and consequently her legs.  While Mom was soaking in all the love, my sister went to the church services and found Dad sitting in his wheelchair with his eyes closed.

She wheeled him out to the patio and noticed immediately how horrible his eye is looking.  The entire lower lid is red, swollen and weeping.  Without a diagnosis, I am certain it is some type of cancer.  I am also sure the lesion on his temple is skin cancer as well.  His entire 90 years, living and loving the out of doors, much of it without sun screen until it was too late, has riddled him with skin cancer.  He had to have a large portion of his nose, by his nostrils removed several years before going into the nursing home...

My sister also noticed Dad was wearing  socks and sandals.  Apparently the staff had attempted to put on his usual foam booties (due to the basal cell carcinoma on his left pinkie toe) but to quote Dad, "he won the battle" and got shoes and socks.

My sister asked Dad to smile for Donna, so she could take a picture of his eye, and Dad's face brightened with a huge, happy smile."I feel kind of weak," Dad told her... then immediately threw up all of his breakfast.

Doctor-Doctor came running with towels and cleaned him up the best she could.  She told my sister Dad was fine when she gave him his shower this morning before his breakfast, but again, he had a big breakfast.  Holly followed Doctor-Doctor as she took Dad in the back way, so he would not be paraded through the community area in front of everyone.

Mom arrived to Dad's room shortly after he was cleaned up.  Dad had told everyone he was tired and wanted to sleep.  They removed his sandals and socks and elevated his feet with the his foam booties.  Dad did not resist the foam booties but complained he doesn't sleep well with his feet elevated...

My sister stood beside Dad and stroked his hair.  Dad saw Mom and smiled.  "I've been worried about you Lynnie.  How are you?"

Mom told him she was doing a lot better.  "I'm glad," he cooed as he closed his eyes, enjoying my sister's gentle touch.  Within minutes, he was snoring and sound asleep.

Mom is quite humped over and is walking very slowly.  She is very cautious of walking too far.  She told Holly she is not sore, so no doubt, she has compensated the pain she used to have and is now in the habit of walking this way. Her grand daughter graduated last night from LVN school and Mom did not attend, mainly because of all the walking.  Tonight my brother and his wife and having a big BBQ to celebrate her accomplishment.  Mom and my sister will go to it.

Unfortunately, we won't make it, so we sent her a card.  Her plan is to work as an LVN while she goes back to school to get her RN.  We are all very proud of her.

I called and spoke with the charge nurse.  She assured me Dad had only thrown up once.  I asked if he was getting enough water and she again, assured me he was.  She told me they had contacted the doctor and would keep me informed...  I know they will give in to Dad if occasionally he fights them with the foam booties.  We have all agreed it is not worth the fight, so to appease him, we let him think he is having his way.

Bless his heart, at his age, he is doing pretty darn well with all he has to deal with... We are so blessed to still have him.  We all are constantly amazed how he can still remember us with his dementia... but then, we have always been his top priority and focus...

May I just say, my prayers and thoughts go out to everyone up the coast with these hurricanes.  I have dear blogging friends in Georgia, New York, Virginia, Nova Scotia, Connecticut....all along there...so be safe dear friends, be safe.  God Bless you all.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sometimes It Is Enough To Just Watch Him Sleep...

My youngest brother E____ went to visit Dad today.  Dad was fast asleep, sleeping like a baby.  Dad looked so relaxed and peaceful, my brother decided not to wake him.  Instead he sat with Dad and just watched him sleep...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Eleven Months Old Today...

Jacob, 11 months old today

My grandson Jacob will be one year old next month.  Does anyone feel like time is speeding past us like we are in some kind of a life race? I sure do!

Tomorrow, my youngest daughter, her boyfriend, co-worker and baby Jacob will arrive in town.  She is working a trade show as she is a spa resort retail buyer.  My husband and I will be driving over to meet them at their hotel, depending if they can check in early or not.  If not, they may drop my son in law and grandson off and we will drive them over later to meet the girls.

We'll get together a couple of days before they return to California early Thursday morning...

I just CAN'T WAIT to get my hands on this precious little boy....my dear grandson.

Happy Sunday everyone.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

God Bless You Dad...I Really Needed To Hear That...

Finally got to talk with Dad this morning.  The past four days, I think the nursing home has given me every excuse in the book as to why I could NOT speak to Dad... Today, I was fed up and determined.  I talked to five people before they finally put Dad in an office and gave him the phone...

I told Dad how glad I was to speak with him and told him the trouble I have been having and the excuses I was given...after telling him about the shower excuse..."Oh yes!  I love our group showers.  I enjoy taking showers with all my friends..."  Going to have to check up on that statement...

"I am doing very well.  I feel WONDERFUL and that is how I like it to be."  That is what a positive attitude will do for 'ya!

"When are you coming to see me Donna Dee?"  He asked me every time I call and I always tell him a few weeks...even though it will not be until September...

I shared with Dad about our recent trip to Mammoth Lakes. He loves the mountains and out of doors, so he enjoyed hearing all about it.  He has always been incredibly supportive of my painting.  He tells me I am brilliant, because he always finds hidden objects within my art work, unintended by me. I always marveled at what he could see... He told me I have " a subconscious eye of creativity".

I told him about a picture I took of a branch in a tree off the balcony of the Mammoth house.  When I uploaded it to my computer, it was rotated up and down in portrait position rather than the landscape position I took it in.  To me, it looked like an Owl man warrior, charging through the forest...he has horns, eyes, nose and mouth in his face, and is wearing a chest shield on his chest.  One arm is raised as if to brush aside the tree branches as he rushes through the woods with his powerful legs....    Can you see him?


Owl man

This is the original picture of the branch...


Once again, Dad was not in the mood for a long conversation.  Typically, once he finds outs I am not coming today, he excuses himself and tells me he has to go...

I told him my husband sends his love and Izzy says, "woof!".  Dad laughed, as he always does.  I asked if he remembered when I had to take my German Shepherd, Major, to the shelter because he was so big, keep jumping our six foot fence, and destroyed everything when Dad was attempting to design and plant our  backyard.  Mom told both of us, it was not a good time to have pets...

At the shelter, I sobbed and cried when the shelter men tried to put him in a big cage.  We were outside and it took four men...just as they got him inside, I screamed I wanted Major's collar. Reluctantly, they opened the cage and struggled to get his collar off.

Another man joined them.  He looked at me and walked over to Dad and I where I clung to Dad is hysterics.  True or not, the man told me he owned a ranch and Major was just the kind of dog he was looking for, and asked if it would be OK if he took him home.  God Bless that man.  He made me feel so much better.

Dad felt so bad, he took me back inside the shelter and told me to pick out another, smaller dog this time.  I selected Miley, a calico type terrier mix with a happy smile on her face....

When Dad and I drove up, and I got out with Miley, my Mom's face dropped, but all she did was shake her head...she knew it was hopeless to disapprove...

Dad laughed and told me he remembered... "I get so excited and happy when I see a dog.  I just love animals."  I agreed and told Dad we all got our love of animals from him...

I told Dad maybe I could bring Izzy to meet him... "Oh I would LOVE that!"  I will have to check into that too.  If not, I must remember to bring my laptop next time, so he can see the pictures better...

"I better sign off dear... someone is going to need this room....I am in some one's office..."

I told him I loved him and missed him.  I told him how much I was looking forward to seeing him soon...

"I love you too Firstborn...thank you so much...the best came through you, because you found this place for me.  I am so happy here and they take such good care of me..."

God Bless you Dad...I really needed to hear that today...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Missing Dad...

The past several days, I have not been able to reach Dad...same old thing...the nurses are passing out medications...he is in the shower...passing out trays for lunch....he is asleep...FRUSTRATING...

Dad had one of the nurses call Mom last night.  He wanted to know how she is feeling.  So typical of Dad.  Still in love with Mom after 66 years of marriage.  He has always been maternal as a mother hen...checking on his chicks...

Letters from Dad were always rare.  The few I have received, I have saved.  Mom usually wrote on behalf of both of them.  Dad would make phone calls.  I can still remember, after I moved down to the beach in my first apartment.  Dad dressed up in suit and drove down to take me to dinner.  Precious memories for sure...

I will try again this morning...lately, when I do reach him, our conversations have been a lot shorter.  He always asks when I am coming to visit.  I tell him two weeks, regardless of how much longer it will be, and as soon as he hears that, he tells me how he will look forward to it and thanks me for calling.

I think he is more visually stimulated by the nurses bustling around, other residents nearby, sounds, activities and wants to be part of it... still, I miss our longer conversations...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dad Taken To The Hospital...

I received a phone call from the nursing home this morning.  Dad had been throwing up since after breakfast.  His doctor prescribed some medication to help with the nausea, but it did not seem to work. He had no temperature, but was very pale and weak.

The nurse told me they called the ambulance to transport him to the hospital for lab work and tests.  I had attempted to talk with Dad, but he was too sick.  The nurse relayed my message, telling him we loved him and I would call him at the hospital.

I called at 3:30pm and his nurse could not tell me if he would be admitted.  She said he had not thrown up since his arrival.  They had him on some nausea medication and it seemed to be working. 

I asked if I could speak with Dad.  She returned to the phone, telling me Dad said to tell me he loves me, he is doing fine and he is up to his old tricks... The nurse laughed and said he was a huge flirt.  I laughed too, telling her to be prepared!

I just checked with his nurse at 5pm.  She told me his potassium was a little high, so he was given medication to lower it.  His glucose was slightly elevated, but everything else looked good.  She suggested the nursing home encourages fluids and water.  They will be returning Dad to the nursing home.  She told me not to worry...

Thank you Lord!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Maybe We Need To Dig Up the Backyard...

My sister Holly went to visit Dad today.  Other than needing a shave, he looked great.  Dad told her how wonderful he felt and was so happy to see her.

 
She brought him an oatmeal raisin cookie with some apple juice.  He scarfed it all down, telling her how fabulous the apple juice was.

She had just finished her Apple Mac One on One lesson, so she had her laptop with her.  She took Dad out on the patio and showed him pictures on the laptop.  It was much easier for him to view as opposed to a camera or cell.  He even told Holly he would like to have a laptop, as he could really use one...

Dad began talking about the buried gold and oil in the backyard of their old house.  This makes the third time he has brought it up...maybe we need to go digging in the backyard...  Holly asked him how he knew about this, and Dad told her he had seen it.  The treasure belonged to his father and grand father...

The nursing home is finishing up its renovations.  The entry is now more opened up and larger.

They visited and enjoyed the pictures of the family for quite awhile.  Dad finally said he wanted to lie down, so my sister wheeled him back inside and left him with the charge nurse.

Holly called Mom after her visit, as Mom said she was not feeling up to going to see Dad.  Her back and left leg are still bothering her.  She canceled the plane reservations for both her and Holly.  They had planned on attending a family friend's wedding on the 13th, but Mom knew she would not be up to any walking....

Holly got a list of groceries for Mom and brought them back to Mom's house.  Mom was having trouble standing and moving.  She will be continuing her chiropractor visits this week.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Notes From Church: How to Build Your Dream...

 Sunday, February 13, 2000 at Faith Bible Church. Sermon by Rev. Arthur Valadez


1.  Pray for wisdom.  James 1:5

The dream starts with God...not you.  Ask God and pray for Him to show His will to you for the rest of your life.

2.  Stretch your imagination.  Eph.3:20

Faith is stretching your imagination.  God can do more for you than you can imagine.  Let the Holy Spirit lead you.

3.  Establish a goal.  Phil. 3:13-14

Write it down, it needs to be clear and specific.  Write down a date.

4.  Visualize the results.  Heb. 11:1

Faith is the evidence of things not seen.  Make it as real as possible.  See with the eyes of your heart and faith.  Being "born again" gives you spiritual ears and eyes.  We see things differently through the Holy Spirit.

5.  Commit your dream to God's care.  Psalm 36:4-5

Give your dream to God.  Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the dream of your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11 " I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future."

What do you want? 

What would you want, if you knew you couldn't fail?

What could God do in your life if you yield to Him?

We have to think big and get started.

Too often we spend money we don't have on things we don't need to impress people we don't even like.

We can turn off the TV sets, but not the influence it has on you.

Plant seeds of greatness.

When you capture God's dream for you and you know THIS IS THE DREAM, then go after the problem solving to overcome.

Soul equals inner life of our passions and dreams.  Philippians 2:9-11

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pick Me Up For the Parade....

Mom got another call from Dad... He demanded someone come pick him up for the parade... Mom asked which parade?...

"THE PARADE!" Dad insisted...

"If no one will pick me up, I will find a bicycle and ride there myself!"


Mom agreed... telling him not to worry...

"I have to go now and get ready..." Dad huffed...


After Mom hung up, she called me.  First off, the nursing home is suppose to call me...NOT MOM... (we go through this every couple of months it seems...)  Very concerned, worried Dad will find some way to break out again for this "parade"... She asked me to call the nursing home...

My girlfriend Jan and I were just pulling into the parking lot of Lucille's BBQ for our last dinner together...she flies back to Missouri tomorrow ( :{ ).  I dropped her off to get a table and I called the nursing home...

I spoke with the charge nurse.  She assured me Dad was sitting right in front of her at the nursing station and all was fine.  She told me she knew I was to be the first person called and did not know who was allowing Dad to call Mom, but she would look into it.  She promised to keep an eye on Dad, but assured me he would be fine.

I double checked they checked his alarm bracelet.  She told me she would.  So far, all is quiet on the nursing home front...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Say, What?

At 8am this morning, when Mom came down stairs for breakfast.  The phone rang.... Mom answered to hear an odd sounding man's voice say,

" Happy Mother's Day!"

Mom asked, "Who is this?"

"Your son, Donald, " he said...  IT WAS DAD!

Mom thanked him and told Dad she was having her breakfast, then she had an appointment with her Chiropractor.

Dad told Mom he had been sleeping very well and was going here and there (Mom could not understand where he said he was going...)  It was obvious Dad did not register about Mom going to an appointment, or probably not even know what a Chiropractor was!


After Dad finished telling her how busy he was, he told her he would let her go, because his friends were coming for him...


Mom thanked Dad again for calling and hung up.

Thank the Lord Mom has such a wonderful sense of humor!



Updates:

We had another creative weekend last weekend...Mom did not come as her back was still bothering her. I will write about the weekend this weekend on my other blog...

My girlfriend Jan, from Missouri, is still here.  She is spending the week.  She came for our creative weekend and will fly home this Friday.  We have been busy little beavers...

Thank you so much for the awards I have received.  I promise to acknowledge them properly after Jan leaves.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

There's Gold in them there Horseshoe Pits...

My youngest brother E____ went to visit "Pops", as he calls Dad, on the 20th of this month.  I am late in writing this post due to my cell phone deciding to go on the fritz just before I was to pick up my girlfriend Jan from the airport.  It's a long story...I will save that story for another post...

E____ found Dad relaxing in the hallway.  The nursing home is still redecorating, new wooden floors, new windows, new paint...all kinds of goings on...  So E____ stood about ten feet away from Dad and waited and watched.  Dad lifted his head and saw him... Dad's face lit up like the 4th of July!  He recognized my brother and called him by name....

E____ walked over to Dad with a huge smile across his face.  They shook hands and hugged.  E____ suggested going out on the patio and Dad was in full agreement.  They found a nice shaded table and settled in....  Dad asked my brother how his dogs were, calling them by name, which really shocked my brother, but made him very happy....



My brother pulled out his Droid cell phone and showed Dad how to flip through the pictures of his dogs and Dad marveled at the technology.  E____ showed Dad the navigation on his cell explaining how it works. Dad was very impressed.

E____ took a picture of Dad's eye, as it is looking really bad again...

A  bird landed right near Dad's shoulder on the back of his wheel chair.  My brother commented on it.  Dad acted like Dr. Doolittle, telling my brother, very matter of fact, how friendly the birds were... looking for food scraps.  "I love the rabbits and squirrels too...but I have not seen too many squirrels lately..."  E___ had to smile...such a "Dad moment"...

My brother asked Dad's advice on one of his fruit trees having a white powdery substance.  Dad instructed him how to rid of it, reminding him he can always take samples to a nursery for help...

Dad shared he had been cleaning out his side drawers, reading some of his cards and letters... Dad mentioned one of his grand sons who lives in Ohio, wanting to be a Fireman, but is working at Home Depot.  "Maybe he thinks being a fireman is too passe..."  Dad wondered...

My brother noted, the word passe, was the word of the day for Dad...he used it quite often during their visit...

"I've been sleeping so great lately... it is just wonderful..."  I was glad to hear this, because he has been telling Mom and I the same thing...

Dad and my brother discussed sleeping positions.  Seems the entire family goes to sleep on our side, with one arm folded under our head on our pillow, ending up on our back.  None of us are stomach sleepers...

"I like your shoes..."  Dad complimented E____ so my brother slipped them on and off his foot to Dad's approval...  Dad is a shoe lover.  When he went shopping, he generally bought hats and shoes...

"You know I am over six feet now... I've been working out..."  My brother only smiled and nodded when Dad boasted about his fantasy to be as tall as his sons.... Dad used to stand 5'11" and is now probably 5' 5"...  all of his sons are over six feet.

My brother changed the subject and told Dad about his bowling score the night before.  He averaged 193 one game and 214 in another...   "M____ is a bowler...."  Dad thought aloud...(M is one of Dad's friends...)

They discussed going bowling , before Dad went into the nursing home, he went out to lunch and bowling with three of his sons and two of his grand sons.  "I don't like the hamburgers here, I eat them without the bun.  My favorite burger is In and Out and my favorite fries are from McDonald's..."  E____ shared having In and Out for dinner last night...

"I enjoy my afternoon naps...unless my room mates are there...then I cannot sleep because they snore so loud."

Dad looked to the mountains, remarking how beautiful they were... Years ago, Dad and his friend, E___ climbed Mt. Whitney.  My brother asked him about it.  "We started at 10,000 feet and climbed to 13,000 feet and had to stop due to a snow storm..."  (Neither my brother or I could remember the actual details, so I will have to double check with Mom...

"We also hiked the White Mountains in the Sierra Nevada's...we really worked up an appetite.  When we finished, the guides had prepared pork and beans.  We almost ate it all, eating everyones portions.  As they came down, the other hikers were hungry and yelled at us for eating it all...but we had a good laugh..."

E____ had heard a trivia question earlier in the day on the radio.  The question was, WHERE ARE THE OLYMPIC MOUNTAINS?  So E____ decided to ask Dad.  "Sure, the Olympic mountains are in the western part of Washington state, " Dad quipped.  E____ was shocked Dad knew, because when he heard the question, he had no idea...  (When we were little -- before E___ was born), I think I was 8 years old, we went camping in the Olympic mountains.  It was so cold, Mom put extra pairs of underpants on our heads for hats and socks for our gloves.  Dad told ghost stories around the campfire, but had to stop we started crying.)

"I remember when Mt. St Helen's exploded in Washington and the ash spread all the way to California.  I saved some ash in a jar..."  My brother was not surprised...Dad saved everything!


" I buried some gold in the backyard..." Dad shared.


"Where?" asked E___.





E_____ nodded intently, knowing Dad always talked of an Urban Legend of gold being buried near a huge oak tree near a nursing home... Dad was obviously remembering the tale and telling a different version...

"Yeah, I buried a nugget the size of a golf ball."


"Wow!".... E_____ exclaimed, "That ought to be worth a fortune!"


" Yeah, the government used to send planes to fly over the backyard to spy on me..."


" I remember Dad, I remember..."


"I sure appreciate you coming to visit me...next time I will treat you to lunch..."


"Thanks Dad...that would be great..."


"I think I am ready for a nice siesta..."


"OK Dad, I will take you back inside..."


When they reached the nursing station, "Pickles" stopped my brother, telling him they were finishing the new wood floors in Dad's room.  E_____ had noticed the residents playing Bingo in the activities room walking back to Dad's room...

"Hey Dad, they are just starting a Bingo game...you wanna' play?"

"Sure!"

"Pickles" flirted with Dad, asking if she could escort him to the Bingo game...

"Why yes!  I would just LOVE that!"

E_____ leaned over to hug Dad, telling him how much he loved him...

"Love you too son...see you next time."


E____ stood for a moment and watched as "Pickles" pushed Dad in his wheel chair down the hallway...Dad must have tickled her fancy, because she threw her head back and was giggling joyfully...

Another great visit with Dad....

Update:  Results from Dad's biopsy last Thursday are in.  The wound on his left pinkie toe is a basal cell carcinoma, as expected.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

10 Months Old Today...


Ten months old today.  Jacob is preparing to walk...doing laps around his Mommy and Daddy's bed...

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Morning Phone Call with Dad...

I called Dad this morning.

I am in bed resting, not sleeping...
I slept well last night.
I guaranteed I would do what I said I would do...
I feel it is more personal to sit in bed... it feels good.
I am a people lover,
I am doing the best I can do...

I was awake all night long, but rested well.
I had a nice breakfast.
I enjoy relaxing in bed.

His voice sound slurred.
He was hard of hearing.

I called "Lynnie" (my mom) to check on her to see how her back was..

I told him how sweet and considerate it was of him...

What is the name of your town where you live?

I told him it was Henderson, Nevada.

What is the weather like?

I told him it was in the triple digits...

I'm glad I live where I live... there is always a nice breeze... I live in the best place...

I told him every time I call and ask to speak to Dad, everyone tells me how much they love him and tells me how happy he is, how they enjoy his singing and their conversations...

Yes, everyone is so nice and treats me so well here...

I asked about some of his favorites, Doctor-Doctor, Pickles and Laura...

They are always so welcoming and make me feel so good...

Thank you Dear for finding this place for me...

When are you coming to visit me?

I told him I would come to visit soon...

OK, Dear, thank you for calling me...I won't keep you....

I told him my husband and I send our love and Izzy sends a "woof woof and a lick"....


Dad laughed a long belly laugh....

God Bless you Dad...

God Bless you all my Dear....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Notes from Church...What to do when you need a miracle.

Notes taken 4-20-2000 at Faith Bible Church in San Bernardino, CA
Sermon by Rev. Arthur Valadez.

2 Chronicles 20:1-30
1.  Get in tune with god (vs 3-4):  Fast and pray. 
Ask yourself, "What is it Lord? Let me see and understand your will."
Blood will flow to your brain - not your stomach.

2.  Pray about the problem (vs 5-12).  Prayer should not be the last thing you do,
when all else fails, it needs to be the first thing.
         
Remind yourself of who God is (vs 6) He is God in Heaven, He rules over the world,
He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega.

Remind yourself of what God has done (vs 7)  He is the one who answers prayers and leads us
out of great trouble.

Ask God to do it again (vs 12)  Ask for a repeat performance and an instant replay.

3.  Admit your need for help. (vs 12b) " We do not know what to do but our eyes are on you."  We   have no power.  Power and might are in Your Hand God.

4.  Focus on God, not your problems. (vs 12c)  when you have problems, you don't need to look   down....look up!!   God responses (vs 15) Problems are like a mattress--on top of it, you rest easy, but underneath, you suffocate.  Focus on God.

The battle is not ours, it is God's but we fight it.  Quit playing God.  Let go and let God handle it.  We don't help God... He helps us.  When we say, "Lord, I let you down, " we are kidding ourselves because we were NEVER holding Him up!  Maybe if God resigns as General Manager of the Universe, then we can take over...

5.  Rest in faith (vs 17)  God is a winner and does not lose.  He has a perfect batting average.
What am I to stand firm on? (vs 20b) Quiet mental attitude with confidence.
If you want to do it alone... He will let you.  He gave you free will, free choice.
If you run away from it, He will bring you back.
The character of God (vs 20)
The word of God
What He brings you to, He will see you through. 
Do what is right and the right feelings will catch up with you.

6.  Thank God in advance. (vs 21)

The results?  He outdoes our expectations. (vs 29-30)


(vs 29-30) It becomes a testimony to others.