Monday, May 4, 2015

Sunday Night Ice Cream Social

 

Last night the family came over for ice cream cones. It was a special night as it always is when we get together. My house is so quiet now that both Ross and Cam have moved out. I've been surprised that I actually enjoy the peace and quiet. I guess I can enjoy the peacefulness of an empty nest because I know that both my boys are happy. Their happiness fills my heart.

Jeff and I (Jeff mostly) have undertaken a lot of home improvement projects in the recent months. We started by painting Cam's old room and Ross's old room, and their old bathroom. Everything looks so fresh. I admit to sitting in Cam's beloved red and black bedroom and reflecting on things before I could paint over the red and black. As it turned out, we had to hire someone to paint that room. There were 10,967 push pin holes in the walls. We weren't up for spackling all those holes. Plus by the time we got to that room, we were all painted out.

And then over the weekend, we (mostly Jeff) started staining our deck. I did it the last time and it's SOOO much work. Neither of us enjoy painting, but it was a gorgeous weekend and we (mostly Jeff) got a good start. It's going to be so pretty when it's finished.

We are still dealing with my dad's foot problems. But we go to the doctor on Thursday, and I'm praying that the doctor will tell him that he can start putting weight on it. He hasn't walked on his own two feet since late July of last year. I never dreamed that the journey we began almost 10 months ago would last this long. With God's grace and mercy, we have survived it.

My mom actually stopped driving the school bus after 32 years when it became evident that my dad needed her there 24/7. But the county didn't recognize her retirement at that time. They are honoring the county retirees this Thursday. I'm very proud of my mom. She was dedicated to her job. She has been dedicated to my dad. The fact that he's still alive is to her credit. I look forward to honoring her dedication Thursday. And I look forward to honoring her dedication to being my mommy on Mother's Day.

Till next time...

 

Untitled

 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

And In Other News...

Ross has been looking at houses. He wants a nice house with lots of land. We have gone through the disappointment of putting the cart before the horse once. He's looking at another place now. It'll work out like it's supposed to, I'm sure of that.

This is the latest picture I have of Ross, Cam and Alicia and me. It was taken on Easter Sunday after church. You'd think now, that Ross is 25 and Cam is 21, that getting a good picture would finally be easy. You'd be so wrong if you thought that. Some things never change. I'm thankful they're not the kind of guys that love to have their pictures taken. That would be weird. But isn't my daughter-in-love gorgeous? I love that girl. And when I tell you what a great catch she is, my daddy told me this morning that Cameron had gotten himself a keeper. He bragged ad bragged on her. And it's all true. I'm so thankful for her.

Tonight they are spending their first night in their new place. It's a barnn apartment. It's just like being in the mountains in a cozy cabin. I am so excited and so, so, so happy for them.
The pretty girl in the green shirt is Ross's girlfriend, Jennifer. If you choose the type of girl you would want Ross with, she's the type you'd choose. They go together like peas and carrots.

 

Daddy has had a restful, calm day. It was what he needed after this weekend. It's a learning curve for all of us. Dealing with him can be challenging when he's feeling perfect, much less when he's sick. Keep us in your prayers. I pray that the beautiful, sunny, warm upcoming week will help his healing process. Tomorrow is May 5th. He plants his garden after May 10th. Let's see how we'll figure this one out.

Till next time... I wish you all a blessed week!

 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

I Can Face Tomorrow Because He Lives

God answered another huge prayer for us last night. My daddy had not been able to sleep in two nights. He was up and down all day and night, fidgety and anxious. It has been terribly exhausting on my mom as well as him. But last night, Crystal went over and visited with them for a few hours. Helped calm the situation down some and gave them both a feeling of security so they could sleep a little while. She left and went home, cried herself to sleep, while Suz and I prayed as hard as we could that sleep would come upon him. We knew that if he slept, my mom could sleep, too. Praise God, he slept. And she slept.
God's beauty and promise that weeping lasts for the night but joy comes in the morning felt so real to me this morning. The birds are singing and the squirrels are all over the place rejoicing in the bright beauty of the morning.
This hydrangea is one that my mom gave me for Valentine's Day. It has a lot of new growth coming up on it. I am curious if anyone who might happen to read my blog has any tips on taking care of it this summer. I may leave it in its pot and see how it fares. Just didn't know if I should plant it in the dirt this year or wait. I want it to live and grow and make pretty pink blooms.
I can face tomorrow just because I know He lives.

Till next time...

 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Life Lately

So life threw me a curveball of epic proportions on Friday morning at 5:30 in the morning. My mom called me after she had called the paramedics. She found my dad unresponsive in the living room. He had fallen asleep before checking his sugar and eating his snack. He's a very bad diabetic, and controlling his sugar has been almost impossible lately. The paramedics got his sugar up, but he was still unconscious. We didn't know, and still don't know, how long his brain was partially without oxygen.
Friday was touch-and-go. We weren't sure he was going to make it through the day. He pulled off another miracle and survived another close call. He was in intensive care until last night and he was moved to a regular room.

The last few days have been spent at the hospital. Thank goodness we have a big family to share the big responsibility to staying with him and we've kept each other company. We have pretty much been every one of these numbers on the pain scale while we've been here.

The hours go by fast. Not sure how or why, but they do. At least they do for me. They crawl for him, though.

We've discovered new water. He has to be on a pureed diet and this is what he is drinking for water. He said that they've figured out how to make even water taste bad. Bless his heart.
We are expecting terrible storms tonight. My daddy's room is on the 4th floor and I pray they will be safe.

My aunt, Brenda, is staying tonight with him. There's actually a very good place to sleep here. They are sure to have a good time.

Hopefully, I'll have better news to report tomorrow. Till next time...

 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fish Fry

Yesterday I had my final follow-up for my recent surgeries. The doctor said I had healed perfectly and she was very pleased with my progress. She gave me the go-ahead to do anything that I felt like doing. The key word there, as I am finding out, is FELT or FEEL like doing. It doesn't mean that I have to do or should feel like doing any particilar thing. It only means that if I FEEL like doing it, she doesn't have any restrictions on me to do anything. Today I felt like washing my front porch and back deck. It's an annual ritual for me to do. They get so covered in pollen and dust and mildew. I gave them a good washing and now they look so nice and ready for the rest of the spring and summer.
Jean has got the prettiest Knockout Roses. Jeff and his brothers gave them to her a few years ago for Mother's Day. She isn't able to prune them or give them any special treatment, but just look how pretty they are. Each one is full of blooms. This one is red. It's from Ronnie.
The yellow one is from Jeff. They don't make a Knockout Rose that starts with a J, so they just chose the yellow one to be from Jeff.
The pink one was from P-nut.
Considering how little care has been given to them, I was surprised by the blooms. They were so pretty.
We picked up Jean and her sister, Dot, to go and visit their other sister, Anne, who has moved into an assisted living home. At first the transition was so hard on her entire family, but she seems to have adjusted well.
The home hosted a fish fry tonight. The residents were encouraged to invite their families. So Jeff and I took Jean and Dot to the fish fry.
They had fried up so many good fish! And hushpuppies! So, so good.

Anne is on the left. That's her son, Ted, who is Jeff's cousin and BFF growing up. They grew up next door to each other. Jean and Dot are also in the picture. I know Jean misses having her sister right next door. They were next-door neighbors for at least 50 years!

The home also made the cutest banana pudding cups.
Why can't I ever think of something like that?
We had the most beautiful sunset while we were driving back home. We were driving straight into it and it was gorgeous. I never get tired of a pretty sunset.

Two of my uncles from South Georgia drove up today to visit with my daddy and my mom. I baked a pound cake for them to have with their lunch. My MaMa Kimball always had a fresh pound cake. I even put it in her big, old, green Tupperware bowl that she used to store her pound cakes in. I think it makes the cake taste even better, if that's possible. Jeff was so sweet and took it over to their house last night when it was still warm from the oven. Daddy said it was the best he'd ever had. I guess after all he had been through, it probably was.

After my appointment yesterday, I took another small nap and that nap got me over the hump. I feel like I have recovered from the stressful hospital stay. I am taking life one day at a time. But that's how we're supposed to do it, right? Thankful for each blessing that comes my way and taking advantage of every chance I'm given to spend time with loved ones, that's what I'm trying to do. And tonight I was able to enjoy my mother-in-law and her sweet sisters at a fish fry.

Looking forward to a nice weekend. Hopefully, the weather will be nice enough that I can get some flowers planted. That is, if I FEEL like it.

Till next time...

 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Two Long Days and One Longer Night

My daddy's health has been poor the last several months. His diabetes has been way out of control and unmanageable. Finally, some of his symptoms and problems landed him in the hospital to have a test done.
Normally, people who are in the hospital don't look their best, but I thought daddy looked just as handsome as ever. Of course, this was on the first day, shortly after we got there and got situated in our room.
He was referred to several times while we were there as a "brittle diabetic", which basically means that his diabetes is hard to control and is up and down, up and down. Those ups and downs can cause lots of nerve damage that you may not be aware are occurring until years after the damage has been done.
I stayed the night with him to help him get prepped for his colonoscopy that he was going to have yesterday. Normally, a person could prep for it at home, but he had tried that already and his sugar dropped too low to have it done. So it was determined by his doctor that a hospital stay would be the only way to have the prep and test safely done.
Alicia and Cam brought me this little jewel to the hospital Monday night. They knew that I was in for a long night.
But how long and frightening the night was going to be was something none of us, especially me, expected.
His sugar dropped three times during the night. Once it was brought up by drinking orange juice, with some sugar mixed in it. The second time the level was critical and wouldn't come up with orange juice. He had to have an injection of dextrose into his IV. The third time the level was critical and life-threatening. I had saved this photo off someone's Facebook during the day on Monday. I knew that one day or night, as the case was, it would come in handy. Monday night was that night.

I was disappointed by some of the ways the hospital handled his care. They knew his history and how quickly his condition could go from sitting up and talking to nearly being in a diabetic coma. Yet it took between 5 and 10 minutes to get the dextrose to him the third time. The nurse's station didn't have the dextrose and had to wait to get it from the pharmacy. I thought I was going to stand there and watch my daddy slip into a diabetic coma. Scared and afraid can't even come close to the feelings I felt as I was there alone. But just like the picture says, I wasn't alone. But I was afraid. I recited the 23rd Psalm to myself so many times that night. When I felt afraid, I prayed. I was afraid a lot that night.

Finally, I watched the night turn into morning and I knew that we had made it. Crystal got there around 7:30 and I was so happy to see her face. I have a large family, as you all know, and there were many people I could've called to stay with me. I thought I'd take care of the night, never knowing how many more nights there could be like that one in our future. I thought that maybe next time I'd be the one at home and I would want the person staying there to handle things and let me rest at home. But as Ross pointed out to me last night, that was too much for one person to take on their own. I should've called someone to come and stay with us to help quiet my fear. But really, like the picture says, I wasn't alone at all.

Daddy's test was done at around 10:30, after Crystal begged our nurse to get him worked in ASAP, because we knew it wouldn't be much longer before his sugar would bottom out again.

I don't want to belittle the fact that the test showed no cancer. That is a blessing for sure! The devil was on me big time while we were waiting and was working to convince me that he did have cancer. Again, I played the 23rd Psalm over and over in my head. He had three polyps removed, one of them being quite large. He's being checked for colitis. But I was disapointed that the doctor couldn't tell us specifically that he had found the cause of his symptoms. He has to get his sugar under control, but even that may not take care of his problems. We are taking it one day and one night at a time.

We were released from the hospital yesterday at 3:30. Here's my sweet daddy just as he was about to get in my car, his chariot, to take him back to his home, his castle.

We will have long days and longer nights ahead of us, I feel sure. But we will be comforted in the 23rd Psalm and by the picture reminds us that God will never leave us lonely. Or afraid.

Till next time...