Monday, February 28, 2011

Life... and death

Keith shared with me this afternoon that he'd found out the mother of one of his school friends had died today. She was 54. My age. She'd been in the hospital for a bit (we don't know why) and passed away unexpectedly today. That information today made me think about a conversation I'd just had with Ron over the weekend.

Senior picture; age 17
 I look at people around me and people I see on the television and I think to myself, "I'm really not that much older than they are... am I?" I look in the mirror and don't really see an "old" person. Not young, of course - but not "OLD" either. My body doesn't feel like it's falling apart (most days) at the seams, but it does occasionally tell me that I'm attempting to do something that it would rather that I did NOT do - such as sitting on the floor for an hour (or less) to sort things, play with the grandkids, or whatever. It tells me the floor is not my friend. Get up. NOW. And then, when I try to get up, it fights me all the way. Pay backs are a ... yeah.

I look at these young stars and wonder how they are going to approach getting older. I see young(er) people that I work with and I distinctly remember being their ages. I can clearly see what I was doing at different stages of my life. My 20s, my 30s, my 40s, and now - my 50s. I see my mistakes so clearly (oh boy, howdy! do I ever!!!) and think that with some of the choices I made, I would make them again. I've even made some of the mistakes more than once.

This is somewhat of a rambling post but the death of Mrs. Murphy (I don't know her name) really puts a WOW! factor in there. People MY age (and younger) are dying of things that I thought of as "older adult" problems - heart disease, aneurysms, strokes, cancer. I found out recently that one of my classmates is very ill with cancer. I don't know what is prognosis is but from what I read on where the cancers are located, I don't think it's a good one.

I don't really think of myself as an "older adult" but, am I?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Isaiah and Hershey

Hershey is Isaiah's dog. She is Vizsla and something else, but looks a lot like a Vizsla. She is the color of... yep - chocolate. And, she is really quite beautiful.

She doesn't like to be alone and loves to get on Isaiah's bed. I'm sure she probably thinks that he'll just get in bed next to her and leave her there. She's bigger than he is and takes up most of the bed. Tonight, he had an issue with her being in his room.

Isaiah: Hershey, get out of my room. I keep telling you to stay out and you never listen.
Rex: Isaiah, Hershey is a dog. She doesn't speak English. She doesn't understand.
Isaiah (with his hands on his hips): woof... woof... woof... woof woof woof... woof.... woof... woof!

I guess he decided to speak "dog" to her instead.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Let me start off by saying we are DEFINITELY moving. To the retirement center. To the 2-bedroom in the six-plex with the covered parking (not quite a garage as no door, but better than a carport because it has sides). It's 973 square feet, so it's quite a bit smaller for us. I'm not worried about down-sizing as far as "things" go because I don't really have any emotional attachment to "things." I have emotional attachments to the memories of when they were given or the circumstances behind the acquisition of the item in question.

I still have concerns of having enough room for the bed and Ron's equipment. I already know the living room won't handle his chair and the sofa as it's also considered a living room/dining room combination. My plan is to try and sell a bunch of stuff, including the living room sofa and matching love seat (it's leather) and getting a smaller loveseat in the future. We don't have that many visitors so having a full-sized sofa is not a necessity. I would like to have a recliner of my own, or maybe a reclining loveseat would fit the bill. We'll see. I'm not in any hurry to replace anything.

We're trading dining room furniture with Amy and Rex because theirs is much smaller and will work as a side table in the kitchen to hold the microwave, Ron's George Foreman grill, and maybe the toaster. The kitchen doesn't have a pantry, but it's more open so he should be able to maneuver easier. The biggest drawback to the kitchen is the size of the refrigerator. Being an older unit, the bigger fridges don't work there. The one in question has the freezer on top and no ice maker. Ron will have to get used to not having ice in his water during the day and getting his food out of the freezer during the day might be difficult. It's something that he will have to work on. We may have to decide what he's going to eat before I leave and have me put it within his reach. Things to think about.

We will sign the paper work in 2-3 weeks (still have to come up with another $800 to do so) and then about 30 days later, we'll be able to move in. That will be another chunk of change that I have to come up with. $850 x 2 for rent (one month + deposit), plus $437 for maintenance fee, and $300 extra deposit. That is over $2400. Scary. But, I have things for sale. Lots of things. Oak buffet, my washer and dryer, with pedestals, some small appliances, a Little Giant ladder, various tools, maybe my freezer (if there is no room for it there), and then there's the leather furniture. Hopefully, I can put this amount together. I'm selling cards, still too. And some extra scrapbook supplies.

The more I do to get ready for this, the more excited I am. The benefits of living there includes membership to the Hesston Wellness Center, which has exercise equipment, hot tub, swimming pool, physical therapy, and other things to do. Ron could get out in his Jazzy and go all over the campus on integrated sidewalks. My mom is worried that I'm giving up so much but I think I'm going to be retaining a lot of sanity in return. Isaiah will be close and can come over several times a week. We'll see him every weekend (probably) and be able to take him to the Wellness Center to swim and things. I will be doubling my commute time but it's all highway miles. I'm OK with that. I will be looking for a job closer to Hesston, maybe even within the community there. We'll just have to see.

If Ron has to go to higher level of care (full-time) then I will have to move. I'm not old enough to live there so if things go downhill for him, I will once again be looking for a place for me to live. Amy and Rex have assured me that I'll never be homeless and if it happens that I have to move, I can always move into their spare room until I find something that I can afford. Personally, I don't think Ron will ever get any better than he is now and there is evidence that he is sometimes more confused that he's been in the past. The Vascular Dementia is taking a toll on him and it may be a short time before he has to go to assisted living. I am about to the place where I've done all that I can do. If he works on maintaining his health and we go exercise, then I think we can hold the "down turn" off.

But... his left knee is really bad and the orthopedic doctor is thinking about referring him to a knee-replacement specialist. Not sure if the doctor would do a replacement or if he would have some other suggestions but we're about to the point. His knee won't extend all the way for him to stand up completely. The day that he walked with his leg on was the only - and the best - time that he's walked with tolerable pain. He is never pain-free but he's beyond what he can tolerate in the left, which inhibits the actions of the right. it's a vicious circle.

This was longer than I intended and I didn't even cover everything! Oh well... There's always the next post.

Have a great week! Happy Valentine's Day to all of you and your sweeties.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Digestive Wheat Biscuits

My daughter-in-law has gotten Ron spoiled with treats from the Chinese Market near where she lives. But, since Shaun is "underway" so much and she now has three little ones at home - PLUS she's not been well - she hasn't gotten him a care package lately, he is almost out of his most favorite treat... Khong Guan Digestive Wheat Biscuits. He likes them plain but he loves them when I give him some peanut butter to eat with them. The calorie count is high in the grand scheme of things, but as a sometimes meal replacement, not terrible.

I thought sure I'd be able to find them locally or on Amazon - but, no such luck. They have other brands but I'm hesitant to buy something (in bulk) that he's not tried. Anyone have any experience with other 'digestive' biscuits out there? Recommendations?

New Followers!

I am well on my way to having 50 followers! woo-hoo!!! I'm going to give something away when I hit 50. I don't know what it will be yet. It could be something that I don't want to move (a "hand-me-down" of sorts) but it will be good. After all, someones trash stuff is someone else's treasure - right?

So, when I hit 50, I'll draw a name out of the hat and have something relatively nice for the lucky winner.

OK? So, just leave a comment and tell me if you're interested.

With that said, thank you to my newest followers for stopping by and hanging around a spell. And, thanks to all of my other bloggy friends who have stayed around! It's a wonderful world that we live in where we can create friendships with people from all over the world. Awesome - just awesome!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

More Weekend Stuff

I didn't get as much done as Amy did (she made something like 70 layouts; each 12 x 12 page is considered a layout). I wish I had taken some pictures of her stuff because they were really cute. Isaiah loves Star Wars stuff so a lot of pages were of things Star Wars related. They even went to the Star Wars concert last year and he loved it. They took a lot of pictures of the characters and she "scrapped" them.

These are the pages I did:

Top left: Isaiah and Keith
Top right: Amy and Rex
Bottom left: a series of pictures from our Catamaran tours
Bottom right: me, in the far left corner
Top left: underwater shot
Top right: Keith and Isaiah
Bottom left: Keith and Isaiah
Bottom right: Keith and I

Various underwater shots
Top left: playing on tube outside of Margaritaville
Remainder: various underwater shots
The girl I gave the baby journal book to loved it, so that was nice and made me glad I'd done it. I have another chipboard album that I'm going to cover for a little girl who will be three next month. She is about 95% deaf and wears hearing aids, but her parents are also teaching her sign language. I plan on taking pictures of various items and the sign for each and attaching them with Velcro to the pages of the book. That way, as she learns things her mom can switch them up and put in new things. That's the plan, anyway.

Since this weekend was the "tenth" Crop-a-Ganza event, they held a contest to see who could come up with the best layout for the event. The winner got a free seat for the next one (that's worth $100 for the weekend) so Amy decided she wanted to try and win. Her layout was really cute, but she didn't win. Bummer~

Here it is:

She did all the work herself and the logo in the middle is a representation of the logos on our shirts. I think she did an outstanding job. She won a little prize, but just not the big one.

We had some other fun over the weekend, too. This video show a small slice of the cutting up that 180+ women can do on a weekend getaway:

I have to say, I can't wait for the next one!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Weekend plans

I'm currently at a weekend get-away with my sister and my daughter. It's called Crop-a-Ganza and is a HUGE scrap convention in Wichita. So far, I haven't done any pages but I have colored a few Riley images for cards.

I also decided to do a baby journal book for a friend who is having a baby later this summer and is having a girl.

There are more pages in the book, but they just have rub-ons and such on them, so no need to post pictures.

I also made her this card (she ordered it to send to someone).

Here are the pictures I took of the work area.

Amy didn't know I was taking her picture

My work area

Amy hard at work
 We're going to have a great weekend! More pictures to follow.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowy day...

We're not getting quite the snow that was predicted, and we didn't get all the ice first - but we got enough to make driving treacherous. Schools all closed due to the wind chill factor and the fact that the snow isn't supposed to stop until tonight.

I opted to stay home from work today. Out of my department of 10, only three managed to make it in. I was going to go in late but Keith got stuck in front of our driveway (facing the wrong direction, I might add) and we can't get his car off the sheet of ice that is under the snow. He's got a 2004 Mustang and we have lots of weight in the trunk, but it's not going anywhere. We've got to get it moved sometime today because we don't want to leave it out all night and I have to go to work tomorrow.

I've got a pot of beans in the crock pot so we'll have some good old comfort food later today. I know that beans are high in potassium, but that will be his daily allotment for today. I've added onion, chicken stock, and smoked sausage for flavoring. They smell wonderful! I hope I have some cornbread mix but if not, I have biscuits in the freezer that I can bake.

Here's a shot across the lake. The visibility is not good. The houses on the other side are not that far away. I took this picture out the dining room window.