Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Quads Visit, Update on Mother and Sunflower Therapy....

Thursday afternoon we were ready and waiting for the quads to arrive!

*Photo taken by Harrison later that day*
I love the sign Summer gave me -

We heard them drive up and Granddad opened the door while I had my video on.

It's all about GRANDDAD!!!!!

I had told the kids we had a surprise for them and that it was in the guest room.
They couldn't wait to get in there and then came tearing back down the hall to get the others!!

They were EXCITED!!!!!!
As wild as the video was, they calmed down and all four of them - one at a time - went in and told Granddad 'Thank YOU!' for putting the bunk bed in there.
Kailey stayed excited longer than anyone. She went up the staircase as Amber and I were visiting in the guest room and she spread her arms out and said, "I just don't know what to SAY! I LOVE it!!!!"
Amber, Mike and I hung out for a little while just talking and the kids scattered around the house finding toys they haven't played with in months.

I was going to do a purge of the toys but I'm glad I waited until after this visit.
They played with things that were really too young for them but they had good memories.
Doesn't hurt to have one more time with some of their favorites.

We had a late lunch that day.
Smiles all around!!!

Once the sun went below the fence, we went outside.

Logan manned the leave blower and did a dang good job of it!

Kailey did some weeding.
Everyone went out and did something.
Trystan and Harrison opened up the big tub of dinosaurs and they pretty much played with them all the time they were here.

Harrison and I made a trip to Aldi to pick up breakfast items I had forgotten to get and to buy Tea Cakes for the Tea Party on Friday! It's fun to get in a little one on one time.

We ate all our meals in the dining room.
Dinner was salad - the girls helped make it - and spaghetti that Louis Dean had cooked earlier.
Harrison helped do the garlic bread and dinner was served.
While I cleaned up the kitchen, they entertained Granddad. Then we all went out to the gazebo to close out our evening. A small campfire and roasted marshmallows was the highlight of the night.
I didn't actually have marshmallows so we roasted the Easter marshmallow chicks I had that I hadn't used at Easter. Then it was bedtime and they were all more than willing to go!

I put Harrison on top......see the guard rail Louis Dean made?
He wasn't taking any chances on him falling over.

Once they were all sound asleep - and it didn't take long - I put a tray of snacks to ensure I didn't have to get up early. Remember the rule? You don't wake MeeMaw up!!
Works like a charm.

They slept until after 8:00 and I slept until nearly 10:00.
Granddad was up earlier and they had plenty to keep them occupied.

We fixed a huge breakfast which was served closer to lunch.
Kailey is the little gardener and cut some parsley up with the herb scissors to garnish the plate of scrambled eggs. Hash brown patties, bacon, biscuits, watermelon and jams and honey rounded out the menu.

The kids requested we do the Rules of the House.
There are 21 Rules and we started them in 2017. 
Looks like we will have them finished by the end of 2018.

These kids are water babies.
Can you see what they think of when you say 'Open it?'
The pool! At least two of them did!!
You can see someone swimming laps in the upper right one.

These are all good rules and at breakfast they were all telling us the ones they remembered.
Harrison thought we were on Rule #15 and he was right!

The afternoon was full of projects, crafts and 'activities.'
The quads like that word.


and then the long awaited Tea Party!
They all love their tea parties!
It touched my heart when the girls went in to the drawer that holds their party dresses and tried their best to squeeze their size 5 and 6 bodies into the the 2T-4T dresses.
Trystan was the most successful.
The dresses now fit her more as long tops.
Kailey found a ballerina skirt and Logan found a cute denim skirt to fit.

We used the tea dishes Uncle Dean had given us a few years ago.
Our High Tea Menu:
Bread and butter tea sandwiches with a sprinkle of raw sugar.
Tea Cookies - lemon creams and Angel Wings.
Fresh strawberries with raw sugar for dipping.
Tea Cakes
Hot herbal tea so they could use a sugar cube and then add ice.
Cold tea already sweetened.

It was a lovely tea party!

We spent some more time in the front yard cutting flowers and watering before their parents arrived.
Friday Night Popcorn/Movie/and Cokes are a tradition from Amber's childhood.
From 2 years old until she left home for college at 17 we did this nearly every single Friday night!

This movie was awesome and one she had seen as a child.
It was made in 1997 and reminds me of both Home Alone and The Money Pit!
They brought not only the movie but the popcorn and the Cokes! 
AND the pizzas!!!
It was a wonderful ending to our Quad visit!


And then they were gone with their goodbyes floating out behind them as they drove away.

We went to the gazebo to close down the night with a glass of wine and talk about the highlights of the visit! Granddad was very pleased with himself and getting that bunk bed ready for them.
I forgot to mention that earlier on Thursday before they arrived, he had to make a third trip to the DAV for a part exchange on the Hollywood bed frame. 
Friday afternoon he put the it under the mattress and box springs and now the room is done.......
EXCEPT that the rug will have to come up.
It simply will not work in there.
But that can happen later. We are going to take it to the ranch and use it there. Later.

Saturday afternoon I visited Reaoma.

She was sleeping here but she woke up and I told her all about the kids visiting.
Amber had been up to see her on Thursday after she left the quads with us.
I talked. She listened.
I played country songs for her on my phone.
Barbara Mandrel, George's Strait and Owens, Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell.....

Pam is such a great daughter to Reaoma!
She always has something interesting in her room.

This is an old picture when Reaoma was about 10 - I'm just guessing.

She has always been beautiful!

Funny but I can't remember how old she is now. 
A little older than I am, I know that.

I left Reaoma and went back by the house to get in the truck and we headed to Fort Worth.
On our way, I told Louis Dean that he needed to know something.
I said if I were a glass of water, I would be one drop from spilling over.
From the time we came home from the country, I have been churning through all my emotional energy. First the guest room and painting and getting it ready for the bunk beds and then picking them up and getting them IN the guest room! Then all the days of putting them together. Louis Dean did the work. I just hovered and helped. But it was draining.
Emotional energy can be good and it can be sweet and it can be stressful.
But in the end, it's all the same as far as your body is concerned.
I gave my good energy to the quads and my sweet energy to Reaoma.
I had already given a good amount of energy to Mother last week and then so much energy to the guest room redo that I was just about out.

We went to see Deanie and Charlie first.
They are a comfort to visit. Their home is so calm and quiet and peaceful.
They are at peace and it shows.
I was hoping this would give me what it would take to get through the visit with Mother.
I knew in my heart that this time I would see what my sisters have already seen.
Mother appears to have lost her mind. Not all of the time but some.
It was all of the time with that visit on Saturday.

Old habits die hard.
I wondered whether to take a selfie - as is our tradition - but decided to do it since I never know but what it could be the last one.
Mother acted like she knew what she was doing at that point and looked at the camera and smiled. 
Then I showed her the pics and she nodded at the one she wanted me to use. Just like old times. Just like we always do.

But this pic does not reflect the trauma I felt at that visit.
Mother doesn't know what she's doing.
She has piles of clothes heaped up on the bed and chairs and stays busy with changing the piles around. I sat and watched her push the chair control as she sat in her wheelchair.
She would raise the chair up and then lower it back to a reclining position - over and over again.
There were other things I don't need to document but it was awful.
I knelt on the floor beside her chair and had prayer with her. For a moment she was 'there' and then she wasn't. I told her I had to leave and I would be back soon. She wanted to go out of her room and back down to Lillian's. That's been a problem. Another problem was I had visited Lillian on my way down to Mother and had left my purse in her room as well as Louis Dean was in there. I didn't see any reason for him to see Mother knowing the condition she was in.
That's when I freaked out. I didn't know what to do. I can move faster than Mother so I got out of there and ran back down to Lillian's room. I peeked out the door and saw that Mother was coming.
Then I pretty much lost it. All of a sudden, I was 11 years old and hiding from my stepfather.
I thought, 'What can I do??' There are curtains to give privacy in Lillian's room so I thought I would pull those. Or hide in the bathroom. Louis Dean saw the look in my eyes and he said, "I'll take care of this." And he did. He went back to Mother who was still in the doorway of her room - she's just a couple of doors down.

He did so good!
Mother has always loved him so he was able to get her back in the room, calm her down and they talked. Not that she made sense but he didn't care. He knew how to keep her engaged and that gave me a chance to calm down. I talked to Lillian and cried and finally got control of myself. 
Bless her heart. Lillian is such a wonderful lady. We all love her!
Finally I called Louis Dean on his phone and that gave him an out and he told Mother he had to go.
He had got her into bed by that time so we made a clean getaway.

I came home and went straight to the bathroom and took a long hot shower.
Then I had this neurotic but irresistible urge to bleach and clean my entire bathroom - which I did.
I put all my clothes including the Skechers I was wearing - just like the ones Mother had on that night. We had bought them together.
I was still a basket case so I sat in the gazebo with Louis Dean and had a glass of wine.
Finally I was able to go to bed.

Sunday I stayed in bed all day.
I was in a stupor and couldn't seem to do anything about it.
I felt sick - in heart, soul, mind and body.

Today (Monday) I woke up feeling  better.
Not good but better.
We meant to go to the ranch today but I wasn't capable of getting ready and doing that.
So what would make me feel better?


I went out to the storage building and brought in five tubs full of sunflowers.
I put some in the hall and in the dining room.

I decorated the den tree with cotton and sunflowers.

I put my sunflower pillow in the living room.

I tucked little bouquets all over the house.
And I started to feel better.

Then the rain came.
Sunflowers and rain! 
They were my therapy today.
Tomorrow we will go to the ranch.
I am going to rest, read and paint.
I am still in a fragile state. I thought I was better but the least little thing can set me all in a whirl. Again.
I think the next several days will calm me back down.
I am counting on it.


Penny said...

My dear Linda, I am glad I read your post this morning. I can hear that you are having a hard time. Thank God that Louis Dean is such a capable and comforting man who has your wellbeing at his heart all the time. I can understand why you reached breaking point today, the visit with your mum must have been heartbreakingly sad and upsetting. Sadly as our bodies deteriorate so often does the mind. In a way it is Mother Nature preparing us for the end, removing us from day to day life by makimg the brain incapable of worry, fear, responsiblitiy etc, but it is very hard on those around the person. I am thinking of you today (as I often do) and sending love and positive thoughts your way. Penny XX

Anonymous said...

oh my,,, I wish I could give you a big hug,, I could feel your fear, I feel so bad for you, I know this fear, thank God for that wonderful husband of yours,, he truly is a wonderful man.
You are the best Mee Maw there ever was,,

Estelle's said...

It sounds like the ranch and the counrty are just what you need right now...rest and meditation....enjoy those beautiful sunsets...the quad visit was darling!

Kathy said...

I am so glad that I read this post before I went to Bible Study this morning. You will be in our prayers. It is hard to deal with so much in such a short period of time. God is so good to give you a man like Louis Dean. He is a gem.

It was so good to see a Quad Day. I know they are fewer since they have school and you have the ranch. But I can see that they still love everything about being at your house.

I hope you enjoy your time at the ranch and can just relax.

Susie said...

Linda, I read with joy about the quads visit. Playing with the old toys that had fun memories of their younger little kid days. They are such thankful children. Granddad is a hero !! Then you had your fun memories of Amber and movie night. All that wonderful cuddling time. I am glad you visited your dear friend Reaoma. You brought her some memories with your music and stories . Then with a sad heart, I read of your visit with your mother. If you hug her and talk softly to her, at this stage....not much else you can do. Don't take her confusion or anger into your heart. Your prayers gave it to the Lord. He is in charge. You need that restful time on the ranch. I love that you put out some of your cheerful sunflowers. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hug LD for me. Blessings to all of you, xoxo,love you, Susie

Arlene Grimm said...

Prayers for you and your mama today Linda. It is so hard to see a parent go downhill but when you have the memories and experiences of your youth flood back I am sure it is a trial. I admire you and your siblings for caring for your mother, many would have walked away. Hope you find solace at the ranch. Loved seeing the quads and their excitement over their new sleeping arrangements.

mxtodis123 said...

Oh, it's so sad when our loved ones change as your mother has, but what a beautiful selfie you took with her. Your mom truly looks happy in it. Cherish it. You've had some busy times of it lately and some fun times. Totally enjoyed reading about them and seeing the pictures. Beautiful grandchildren. You're so lucky that they are able to visit. My grandchildren are grown now, but I have 7 great grands. Only my grandson has been here. They just don't like traveling to the city. We go to visit them.

G Dazeez said...

Prayers for you dear Linda, and hoping you find comfort, strength and peace at the ranch. My grandmother became very abusive in her last few months and it drained all of us. Do what you can to take good care of yourself physically and emotionally. I will be praying for you.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Your post is certainly a mixture of the good and the bad. You had such a great time with the quads and that is the memory you want to hold on to. So sorry your mom is not doing well. Try to remember the good times and not the bad. Sunflowers are good therapy for sure ! They are so cheerful I cannot help but smile when I see them. They just brighten up everything ! Take care and enjoy your get away to the country. Sounds like some downtime is badly needed.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

My heart goes out to you. And you're right...whether you have happy times or sad, our bodies still get exhausted. It's so hard and for sensitive people like us, it's even harder. I hope you'll be good to yourself this week and try not to worry. Sweet hugs...and hugs...Diane

Vee said...

Bless your precious heart...just remember that whatever it is, run to The Lord with it right in the middle of the moment. He is with you and He will help you. Louis Dean is your love and your hero. You know that you’ve made us all love him for being that kind of man for you.

Loved hearing the grands’ excitement over the bunk beds. Makes all the hard work you and Louis Dean did worth it. Now how did Harrison split his toenail? And do you know how wrong it is to roast an Easter chick? LOL!

Happy trails back to the ranch....a healing place for sure...

Carla said...

Linda I am so sorry to read about your Mom. I know it's hard to see your Mom like this. I'm not going to say I know exactly how you feel but I'm dealing with my Mom's slow decline. Her dementia is slowly taking her away from me. My heart is heavy for you. But I'm so glad you had the quads to distract you for a while. They are too cute. Now I love your rule "Don't wake MeeMaw" You're so smart to leave a snake tray out for them like that.
Hugs and prayers to you.

Changes in the wind said...

How hard to see your Mom in that state but you are so good to continue to go and love her. The time with the quads were so special and they are so appreciative and I love how they pitch in with the work. Am glad you are going to the ranch it will be good for you and LD.

Sandra said...

so sorry about that traumatic visit with your mother and Lilian. god bless LD for taking control... next time I suggest listening to the video you posted, the Lords prayer in Swahili, I love it and use it as one of my excercse videos, and there are places in it that raise the hairs on my arms.. glad you got your sunflower fix.... hope theings smooth out soon, the video of the greand reveal of the bunkbeds is fantastic

Christi Duke said...

Linda, I just want to say how sorry I am that you are in so much pain and turmoil. You have the kindest heart and the sweetest soul.

Ginny Hartzler said...

Oh, Linda! I am so very sorry that you have to go through this! Please know that I will be praying for both you and your mom every day!! And that's a promise! You know, they call me "The Prayer Lady" at church. Louis Dean is your knight in shining armor! And I believe that cleaning and decorating are also therapeutic for you, and its a good thing that you were able to do that! Sunflowers are so cheerful and lovely. They make your home happy. Your tea party menu is perfect. I think your time at the ranch is just what you need. Sleep a lot, paint, decorate, and love the animals. Sending so much love to you.

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Dear Linda and LD - so glad you are going to the ranch. It was wonderful to have the grandchildren for their overnight visit, such a wonderful family. I will echo the comments from your dear blogging friends, my heart is sad for the trauma you have had to deal with plus the flashback that was the final overload. Please keep taking such good care of yourself and resting when you need too.

The animals at the ranch will be looking for their treats !

Hugs and Love and Prayers Linda.


Shirley said...

Linda, I am glad you are going to the ranch for a few days to get away from all of the stress. I love reading about your visit with the quads and how much they have changed. It is fun to watch them grow up each year. I had tears in my eyes when I read about your visit with your mother. It is so hard and you do wonder if that is your last visit. I am sending you all hugs and prayers. It is in God's hands now. Hugs and Prayers from your Missouri Friend Shirley

Carole said...

Linda, so sorry your mother is not doing well. Its not my place to say but do you think it might actually be a blessing for her not to be as aware of things? It makes it horrible for you but maybe not so much for her??? Be kind to yourself - suppressed family memories are just so exhausting. Loved the quad update. I need some of those rules of the house - like if you take something from a kitchen drawer, can you put it back there when emptying the dishwasher - I end up hunting all over for things. It's still cold here but fine today. Take care

Deanna Rabe said...

Sweet friend, I am so sorry. Thank you for your honesty, it helps us to know better how to pray. This visit to the country is timed just right. You’ll be able to recover emotionally there. What a gift Louis Dean is!

NanaDiana said...

Linda, I am so sorry knowing what you are going through with your mother. I went through the same thing with my own mother and it is truly heartbreaking. It is really a dreadful thing. I can really relate to the piles of clothing and her shifting things around from pile to pile. It is just sad.

Thank God for Louis Dean and all the pieces he can pick up and cover for you when he has to do that. He is a gem.

It is always fun to see the kids as they grow and change. I have been watching them through your eyes since they were babies.

Blessings and love- xo Diana

Brenda Burke said...

Two words: slow down!!!
Been there!!!!