Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rudi and My Sister

This is a painting I did a while back in pastels of our cat, Rudi, when he was really not our cat. He was our youngest daughter's cat and was a teeny kitten. I painted it in an art class from a photo I'd taken of him sitting in a chair. He was such a cute little kitten. :)

Rudi was raised by my daughter when she was in nursing school. The vet predicted he was about five days old when she got him. She bottle fed him, waking up in the middle of the night, etc. even though she was in nursing school. I know it was tough to do but she "loved" him back to life.

When my daughter had been married for a little while, we "inherited" him along with our oldest daughter's cat, too. We didn't have any cats for a while and I had just adopted a 4 month old kitten so now we have three cats (and a dog!).

Anyway, my purpose of posting this painting of Rudi this morning is that I'm a little worried about Rudi and my sister, who is flying in today to be here through a long weekend, getting along. The last time she was here and stayed here, he attacked her. I still don't understand what happened but my sister ended up in PriMed with antibiotics, etc. Rudi had to be "sequestered" for about ten days and since he's been out of jail, he's been a much nicer cat.

Our vet told us that now the only chance Rudi has is to live with some family like us that he loves and who understands him because of the attack. The Humane Shelter could never adopt him out because of his "record". He really can be a sweet cat. He's just misunderstood sometimes and you have to be "careful" with him. Our vet said that because he was raised by a human and not a mother cat, that he thinks he's a human and can never be dominated. Of course, I don't think ANY cat could be dominated! ha! Cats are so different from dogs.

But we will be gone to visit my oldest daughter and her husband part of the time that my sister is staying here and I just hope and pray no attack or any altercation of any kind takes place between the two of them while we're gone and everyone just gets along!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How Twins Are Made!

I don't know these boys but a friend of mine sent this to me lately and I thought it was so cute. I needed a cute little laugh and this was it! I'm amazed at the creative people in the world!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Head, Shoulders, Knees, Toes

New Cast - first one, thought was wet and when they took it off, she had a rash. Dr. thought she might have had an allergic reaction to the synthetic wrapping. They put on new cotton wrapping and new cast. This one will come off by Monday to check the rash and a THIRD cast! ha! Autograph party still going on!




I love every little part of her!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Going To NashBille!

I'm getting very excited about going to NashBille! This is what Paige calls it. She told her Paw Paw today that she and Bear Bear went to NashBille today and we saw Brown, and we went just for the day! ha! We didn't see Aunt Erin and/or Uncle Chris (pictured above), just Brown. Brown is their chocolate lab. I don't know where she got this!

Maybe she's just as excited as I am! We haven't been in a long time and we are all looking forward to it. I will try to get more photos than I usually do when I'm up there.

I know the guys will probably play golf and the girls will find something entertaining to do. We can ALWAYS go shopping!! We talked about going to a water park up there but now that she has a cast, that's out. We might find a kids' science center or something like that to go to that's nice and cool and something to do on the inside.

As far as our day went today, Paw Paw did play golf (of course!) and I was trying to find something entertaining for Paige and me to do so we went to the movies. It all turned out ok but the original plan was changed a little. Paige's mommy called and said she had an appointment to get her cast taken off and a new one on because they thought the first one might be wet.

I still thought we had time to see the movie that I'd already gotten tickets for so we go on to the movie and as it turns out, the sound is so blasting loud that it just scared her. The original movie I wanted to take her to see was Ice Age and she saw the posters out front and said she wanted to see the "rat movie", that she liked "rats". It was a movie called G Force with Gerbils in it. We didn't last 5 minutes in that movie so we just moved to Ice Age and stayed until time to go to the orthopaedic doctor's office to get the new cast. But as it turned out, it was the same time that the "scary" part started on the movie for her so it all worked out ok.
We had our popcorn and drink and had a good time anyway. I really enjoyed her today and am looking forward to being with all my "peeps" this weekend. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bear Bear's Autograph!

Oh, poor Bear Bear. She wanted to be the first one to sign Paige - ee's cast :( but didn't get to be first. But she saved me (and Paw Paw a good spot)! ha! When this photo was taken, Paw Paw hadn't signed it yet. I'll have to get a photo of that!

Never in my life did I think I would be signing a cast of my grandchild, especially at two years old! (Knock on wood) neither of my children have ever had a broken bone, nor I nor my husband.

But she just keeps on truckin' like nothing's happened. :) Her mommy says it'll probably have to stay on for about three weeks and then she might have to have a little physical therapy and, hopefully, everything will be fine. And right before her 3rd birthday!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


No post yesterday - a "down" day. Today still feels like a "down" day. But I wanted to keep posting so here is something quick to post. Look at them "maters"! My husband can grown some tomatoes! And they are the best tasting ones you'll ever find. He says they're Atkinson tomatoes.

He's really proud of them, as he should be! He loves to give them away. Sometimes I think that's the main reason he grows them! ha!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lullabies - Another Memory Found

I found yet another fond memory of my childhood as I was going through my mother's things - a lullaby. The dictionary defines a lullaby as a slow, quiet song sung to children to make them go to sleep.

All my life, this song has been in my head and I knew my mother must have sung it to me. So one day when I was visiting her after she moved down here (which was about five years ago), I sang the lyrics to her and asked her if she sang that song to me. She said she did. I asked her if she remembered who sang it and where the song came from and she said she couldn't remember that.

So. . . . what did I do? I googled it and came up with ALL the lyrics. I only remember two paragraphs of the words to this song. The information I got said it was written by Patsy Cline. Probably a lot of people recorded and sang it. It's called:

That's How Much I Love You

If I had a nickel, you know what I would do

I'd spend it all on candy, and give it all to you

I'd spend it all on candy, and give it all to you

'Cause that's how much I love you, baby That's how much I love you.

If you were a horsefly, and me an old grey mare

I'd stand and let you bite me, and wouldn't move a hair

I'd stand and let you bite me, and wouldn't move a hair

'Cause that's how much I love you, baby That's how much I love you.

Now I need to find it on uTube and see how many versions I can find to listen to!

I have sung it to Paige in the past but I need to remember to keep singing it to her and pass it along.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Skydiver!

It seems my granddaughter has a new hobby - skydiving from the steps going up to the slide!

She fell early last night from the ladder going up to the slide. Her mommy took her to the ER and they took xrays, put a splint on it and she did get to talk to an orthopaedic doctor who suggested she call tomorrow morning to come in for a look. She probably will get a cast.

This morning I got a call from her mommy asking if I'd like to go to Target with them as a fun day just for Paige since she hurt her arm. I said I'd love to!
So off we go. But before I left, I cooked our nighttime meal (theirs and ours) and took it with me when we went to their house to visit and see how she was doing. It was the first time I've cooked since around April 28th!

You see, I have this wonderful husband. He has cooked every meal (or either we have eaten leftovers from what he cooked or have eaten out) every night since then.

Anyway, we went to Target and no other place. We stayed in Target about 3 or 4 hours! Paige did NOT let this "bad arm", as she called it, stop her one bit. She just kept on truckin'. She had a blast playing and looking at toys, trying on boots and shoes (some of them all by herself with one arm and ones that zipped!). She ran and sang and was so happy. And she behaved like a happy child. She didn't whine and cry and feel sorry for herself. She was just wonderful. Do I need to sing her praises more (as a grandmother naturally would!)? ha!

I guess I just expected her to be pitiful but neither she nor her mother were pitiful at all. They were wonderful and uplifting to be with and helped my spirits. I am very tired but I thoroughly enjoyed my day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just What the Doctor Ordered (for Today)!

Here is a pic my husband took of our pool (although I think he was really taking pics of flowers that day!). This is where I spent most of my day today.

I have been waking up (and going to bed) with aches and pains all over my body, front and back, so I googled physical symptoms of grief today and got my answer. When your grief is leaving your mental state (or beginning to), it has nowhere to go but your body (with some people - everyone's different). Advice was given to just give heat or cold, whichever feels better, maybe go to a chiropractor as opposed to using drugs or alcohol.

So. . . I decided that I am completely normal and instead of lying around in this house on a heating pad all the time (which is depressing), to get outside and get cool from the pool! And it did the trick today! It was wonderful!

While I was in the pool just floating around, too, I went over what I've done in my life in the last month to six weeks and have decided that I've not done too badly. I took care of my mother through her sickness at the end, helped to plan her memorial service, went through her memorial service, went to a family reunion during that time which was held at MY house, went to a musical at the Shakespeare Playhouse here, went to hear my husband's band twice, went to another concert, went to a church outing and took my granddaughter with me, kept up my babysitting when requested, went to church and even tried to sing in the choir.

I also went through her things in her house and storage room thoroughly, brought the things I wanted home and have been trying to organize them as well as writing thank you notes, etc.

I really didn't feel like doing any of this but I did. A lot of it I had to MAKE myself do it! So I think I'm pretty normal here and doing the best I can and will not feel guilty today for spending my day relaxing in the pool.

My body does not have aches and pains anywhere right now. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Little Shoes?

Little antique shoes in sepia tones.

Or in color?

Are these my little shoes? No one really seems to know. Even my mother didn't know for sure. I asked her and she said they probably were but she couldn't tell me for sure. So, who knows? Maybe all four of us wore them!

But my siblings were so kind and insisted that I take them since I'm the oldest! I was thrilled! Deep down inside, I really did want these little shoes. I think they're just precious.

Which do you like? The color photo or the one in sepia tones? I can't decide. I like both!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Just a little reminiscing tonight. I was looking through some photos we've scanned and put on a CD, mostly old photos on my daddy's side of the family.
This is one of my daddy. My mother had written on the back that he was 16 years old. I think it's so cute. It needs some touch-up work but I just love the happiness on his face. A little mischief there, too! If he were still alive today, he would be 90 years old!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Our New Groupie!

This is our new little "groupie" in the family. Her Paw Paw plays in a rock 'n roll band and she adores him and the band. She loves to go and listen to the music and dance.

I took another outing tonight and went with them to a street dance where the band played and enjoyed watching my little sweetie pie have herself a grand old time. Plus I enjoyed watching the faces of her mommy and daddy. It brought back so many memories of enjoying my children when they were two years old!

Here's a photo of part of the band - the drummer on the far left, then Paw Paw playing bass guitar and singing, a friend in the middle, and my brother on the far right playing guitar and singing. There are also two keyboard players. Some of these guys have been doing this together for over 40 years - which is amazing!!

When you ask Paige what she wants to be when she grows up, she says a ROCK STAR!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

An Outing For Me

Yesterday I took an outing. I was invited to go to a little town where there was a craft store with art and crafts from local artists. Our church group called 50+ was the group that invited me to go. There were around 30 people that went on the trip and since I was keeping Paige that day, I took her with me and told them that this trip would be a 2+ trip!

She loves being around adults and did just fine. It was about a 2 hr. drive, I guess, over there. We first went to the store and looked around. We also got a nice surprise, a talk and presentation from a young man who grew up in Gee's Bend where the famous Gee's Bend quilts originated. He was very interesting. I think that was my favorite part of the trip (besides just being with people I love and just getting out of the house and away from the things I've been doing lately).

Next we went to an antebellum mansion and had lunch which was very good all except for the dessert. I didn't like it (which is unusual because I usually love dessert). While we were eating, one of the workers there came into our dining area and told ghost stories about the old house. Then the 2 hr. drive back with lots of conversation with friends and Paige took a nap.

The only thing I'm concerned about as far as myself goes is that I still am not as motivated as I would like to be to get back into my creative things, not even photography. I contemplated taking my camera yesterday and decided against it because I thought it would be difficult to keep up with Paige, a camera and taking pics and trying to look around in the store, etc. So I did not take her photo above. A friend did and I appreciate it so much.

Today I am going to go through my mother's things again, sort and organize. It's just a "loose end" that bothers me and I think my creative urges will come back after I take care of my "loose ends". That's just me. Can't work with clutter in the way. Or at least that's the way my mind handles it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


To continue with what happened next as best I remember . . . after my mother spent the night in ICU on Apr. 28th, they took her upstairs to the ICU unit and I think she stayed there about a week or so, then moved her to a regular room and I think she had a roommate. She improved but we knew we couldn't be doctors, nurses, therapists, and take her home so we got her into a rehab/nursing facility and she seemed to be doing pretty good. But while she was there, we changed roommates once for her and then she was admitted 3 times back to ER, same cycle again. Finally, they suggested home health care and Hospice and it was her choice to go home. So we took her home and she lasted less than a week at home. But she was born at home and died at home and that's what she wanted. She did die in peace and comfortably and with all her family around her (except for my younger sister who couldn't make it until the next day or so).

Her memorial service was perfect to me. I think it was exactly what she would have wanted down to the color and kind of flowers on her blanket across her casket.

I thought I wanted to get into the details of all this but I don't. I think I have peace with it all and want to just get her things "straight" and move on. I still have photos and paperwork to separate and then sort and label. This will be a long job but I need to do it. I've decided NOT to be involved in any kind of "lottery" for my mother's things. I have what I want with no contest and am happy. My brother and 2 sisters can do the lottery if they want but I'm not participating. I don't care if what I have is a Roseville or a McCoy, etc. I just wanted whatever I listed and got because it was Mama's and reminded me of her. The most precious things I got were things she made.

Hope to be back tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Continue On

I have no photograph to post today but I've decided to try to continue on this journey of blogging everyday of my 60th year. It's going to be very tough for a while and some days it may be very short or nothing at all again but I'm going to try. As some of you may know, my mother passed away on June 12 of this year and I've not had the time or the motivation to post blogs. But I've decided that I really need to do this. I think it will help with my grief. I need to talk about what happened and how I feel and all those things. I have good days and bad days and some in-between. But I really think I'm just normal, thank goodness. Some days I just have no energy at all and some days I feel pretty energetic and have a good day. Just about all my nights, I suffer with aching all over my body and I sleep on a heating pad just about all night. I think that's part of all this grieving process. Anyway, I think if I write about it, it will help. I want to document what I can remember happened. So here goes. . .

My mother really died on June 11, not June 12. She died around 10:30 pm or maybe a little later. Since we were using Hospice, we were instructed to call Hospice instead of 911, and the on-call Hospice nurse lived in another town and we had to wait for her to get there. Then all I can remember is a lot of talking (and laughing) going on in the kitchen where the Hospice nurse and the health care worker were doing all this paperwork and then I remember seeing them flushing drugs down the toilet, etc. but I was in the bedroom with my mother, just sitting there, numb. So by the time all this "stuff" was done, it was past midnight and they pronounced her dead on June 12.

It's "funny" that when this happened, the one thing I could remember and think of was how Mama told me (more than once) that one of my sisters was born that way. The time changed and Mama got to choose which day to be her birthday. It's strange the things you remember in times like these.

My mother had rheumatoid arthritis but it was diagnosed in her 70s, kind of late in life, I think, for that condition. But she was the kind of person who didn't complain of anything until it got to be about as bad as it could be so who knows how long she really had this condition and just didn't complain about it to anyone. She also was diagnosed with COPD kind of late in life but I think the same thing applies here.

We moved her close to us about five years ago so we could be closer to take care of her a little because she was beginning to have problems with being hospitalized with pneumonia a couple of times, etc. I really don't think she wanted to move but I think she understood what we were doing and cooperated anyway. She adjusted as she always did and didn't complain.

We started noticing about six months before she passed away that things were getting worse as far as her breathing was concerned. My brother and I started taking turns being with her on Sundays to watch "church TV" and then on the night of April 28th, I think, I called her house to just chat and my brother answered the phone. I remember it was 7:50 and thought it was strange that he answered the phone that late on a week night. She usually went to bed between 7 and 8. He told me he was really worried about her breathing and didn't think she needed to be left alone that night. I offered to come spend the night because my brother would need to go to work the next day and he said, "no, I think we both need to be here." This really scared me so I packed up and rode to her house. When I got there, he was sitting on the couch in her living room and said she was in the bed and had just gotten settled down around 9:30, which was very late for her. We sat on the couch talking about "things" and every time she would cough or make a noise, we'd both run down the hall to check on her. Finally, about 11:00, I think, we heard her shut the door to her bathroom and we went down the hall to just watch. When she came out, she could hardly walk the very, very short distance back to her bed because her breathing was so labored. Craig sat down on the side of the bed with her and I sat on the foot of the bed, just listening. He was very calm but asking her didn't she think she should go to the hospital. I remember both her arms just shaking like crazy from her shoulder all the way down. She told him yes. My brother and I had already talked about if this happened, to call an ambulance to come get her instead of us driving her because she would be treated quicker and we wouldn't have to wait in a waiting room, etc. So I talked to her about that (calmly) and she agreed. I called 911, medics were there in about 5 minutes and I remember her reaching out for me and telling me she loved me and that she might not make it. I clawed my way through all those medics to touch her and kept rubbing her arms and asking her to just calm down and she could breathe easier and that I loved her, too, and she had five big men taking good care of her and she would be at the hospital in about five minutes and we would be right behind her.

As it turned out, we beat them to the hospital somehow so we were watching them take her in. We had to wait for them to get her settled in and then we stayed up all night that night waiting with her to get her vitals to the point that she could get to intensive care. They put her on what they called a Bi-Papp machine which helped her breathe and I remember her not sleeping at all and sitting up the entire time so she could breathe. It was horrible. The doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapist and all workers were wonderful. It was just the experience that was horrible. It took about 8 1/2 hours to get her stabilized enough to go to ICU. We felt so much better when she got there. All the workers there were wonderful.

I will stop here. I may not have my details exact in this journal of our journey with our mother's illness and death and since I didn't document anything while it was happening, I am depending on my memory which will at times be fuzzy and confusing or may not be there at all but I have to do this. Also, as I said earlier, I may not post everyday OR I may venture away from this subject some days and post something "cheerier". My days are just different from day to day but from everything I am reading about the grieving process, I think I am normal.

I am still grieving but I have realized that I never grieved for my daddy when he died and I am grieving now for both of them, which is really tough but needs to be done. I was not as close to my daddy as I was my mother. I have to take breaks from sifting through all the paperwork and pictures from her house because it brings back memories and sometimes I just have to have a break from it. I am separating photos from paper first and then plan to sort and organize both of those so all of my siblings can have copies of what they want. We are scanning old pics and making CDs for everyone and will just sort the paperwork and let everyone make their own choices as to what to copy and keep. Then we need to decide how and where we are going to keep the originals of all this history of our family. This is going to be a very big job and take a long time but I think it needs to be done and is important.

This will be all for today. Hopefully, I can continue tomorrow.