Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday's Cheers!

The birds woke me up this morning - apparently singing their hearts out before the rain started. Again.
After our morning routine of stupor time, Bible reading and out loud reading,  I started cleaning my bathroom.
I cleaned out and organized all makeup and everything under the sink.
I cleaned the floor and the shower.
By the time I lit the candle, everything was sparkling!
I love the smell of CLEAN.

Louis Dean has been feeling a bit blah.
I'm thinking it's the steroids and the antibiotics.
Tomorrow is his last day of medicine and I'm sure he will be perking right up!

Early this afternoon we went just down the street to the Irving Arts Center and voted.
Hopefully by election day we will be in the country!
We would have walked except for the rain - it's that close to our house.

I made up a cheese/turkey/cracker tray and carried it out to the gazebo when we got back.

The rain was still falling but, even with the rain curtains open, it was dry out there.
I love being retired and having a glass of wine at 3:30 in the afternoon if we want to!

We opened up our mail and received two big treats!

Amber tells us that the quads have been earnestly praying for their Granddad every evening at the dinner table. I think the prayers of little children are the most powerful prayers in all the world.
 They sent notes and colored papers and their school photos. 
Where are my babies?
These pictures are of Big Kids!

There is something so special about handwritten notes - easpecially from a child.
I love looking at Kailey's writing and reading all the messages from everyone.
That sure put some smiles on our faces!

We had another package in the mail, too!
This one was from a dear friend who used to be my back yard neighbor for years and years.

They have a beautiful and incredible family.
And a BIG one, too!!
This photo was taken at their 60th wedding anniversary!
They have four sons and one daughter and a lot of precious grandchildren!
My children and I admire them so much.
Mary Jo and TC are smack in the middle of this pic.
She's wearing a green top and they are holding hands.
I love that. Still holding hands after 60 years together.

Mary Jo sent us some photos she'd found in her stash - this is of Amber and Benjamin.
I'm not sure who the baby and young girl memory isn't what I would like for it to be.
Just look at Amber's dimples shining!!
She looks like Kailey here - minus the dimples!
She looks so sweet with her arm about Benjamin's shoulders.
He is so cute!

Mary Jo and TC had a swimming pool in their back yard so I would take the kids over and we would all hang out on a summer afternoon. Such good memories!
Thank you, Mary Jo! Your package and note meant so much to me!

Summer came over for a little visit while we were still in the gazebo.
Mary Jo had sent copies of their family photo - enough for me and my children.
We had fun looking at our pictures this afternoon and was glad Mary Jo had written every one's name on the back - according to rows.

Summer was packing a box to send to Sabrina and Rayne in Puerto Rico and I wanted to add a note and some tuck ins to it.

My friend, Sharon, makes the most beautiful hand made cards.
I have kept every single one she has ever sent me.
That doesn't surprise anyone, now does it?
This was a card from her and I took the front and wrote on the white backside.
This was perfect for the St. Patrick's Day theme to the box!
Summer marveled at the huge selection of new cards Sharon had made and sent me last year for my birthday. She is one very special lady.

Summer had the box pretty full but I added a tiny tin with one chocolate coin wrapped in gold foil.
Last time Rayne was here, the house was still decorated for Christmas and she said she thought there was ONE chocolate coin left in the arrangement on the living room coffee table.
She didn't find it that night but I found it when I was putting up the Christmas things.
 I also printed off copies of scripture art for her to color using my fancy new printer and heavy paper.

God sent us several chunks of cheer today!
And in helping Summer pack and wrap up her box, we got another chunk!
You can't send cheer without getting some back......

It was good to see Summer.
She's had several really rough days lately.

She makes me smile.
Summer says I make her feel better just being here.
That makes my 'mother heart' feel good.
Some things about being a mother never change.
We are happy when our children are happy and it hurts to see them suffer.
I think my children bring out the best in me. They tend to see my strengths more clearly than my faults. They see me in the best light possible. I know I feel the same way about them.
Summer tells me things that I taught her so long ago that I've forgotten them and she's teaching them back to me! One of her sayings is 'Always leave a place better than you found it.'
And she does. She left us with a smile. And a pair of overalls and a pearl snap western shirt for Louis Dean and a pretty turquoise leisure dress for me! Another favorite of hers is - 'actions produce feelings!' So true. 

My way of cheering LD up was cooking a good old fashioned dinner tonight.
Fried pork chops, scalloped potatoes, candied carrots and a fresh garden salad.
He loved it all!

Then, to crown the day, I had a phone call from Grandson Robert and then one from Sherry.
It's always a good thing to keep in touch with those we love and especially those we don't see all the time.
Sherry checked the camper for us yesterday and said all was well.
I told her I bet it was lonely.

Now Louis Dean and I are going to have one final sit in the gazebo before we close up the house for the night.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tuesday Treasures!

The pretty weather of yesterday vanished and the gray clouds and misty rains returned.
I woke up before Louis Dean did and started the coffee and got back in bed.
I'll be glad when we are sleeping in the same room again.
As it is, I find myself going in the guest room in the middle of the night and hovering at the side of his bed watching for the rise and fall of his breathing.
He's out of the woods and yet I would feel better if he were lying beside me and all I need do is to touch him and know that he's okay.
He's still coughing and hacking and sometimes I'm grateful to hear him - that way I know he's breathing. Is it wrong that I'm relieved and then I don't have to get up and check on him??
It will be two weeks on Friday night that he fell ill so I think he's doing pretty good.
He has eaten all the milkshakes I bought and has moved on to cleaning out the fridge on his own - eating whatever he can find so that's a good sign!

He's sleeping a lot - which is a good thing!
After our morning reading and prayers - and there are so many prayer needs - I got ready and got out of the house!!

Goodwill had some more awesome dinner plates and a beautiful basket of faux flowers!

Just because I could - I stopped at Whataburger and bought the smallest hamburger they have.
I lingered long over it and the small fries and Diet Coke .....

while I read the first chapter in Rosamond Pilcher's book.
I may have read it before but so far it reads new to me.

I found this review online and totally agree!!

"I am a Rosamunde Pilcher fan so I adore all her books. Once you have her collection, you will read and re-read them all. She is a typical British author and very descriptive in her writings. You will feel like you are in Cornwall, walking on the Moors, feeling the spray of the ocean mist on your face as you walk with her characters and visit quaint places."

I went on about my errands shopping at Aldi and stopping by Years to Your Health - our local herbal shop.

I have an appointment for my yearly check up in  April and thought I better try to help my liver out.
The cholesterol meds affected my liver years ago and, while the numbers haven't changed much in the last 5 years, it doesn't hurt to do what we can with the herbal remedies available to us.

I timed my visit with Reaoma so I could feed her dinner to her.
I was so thrilled to see that Reaoma was holding her head up and was having a good day.

The signs of her recent fall out of the wheelchair have faded and she was holding her head up and looking beautiful. She ate well at dinner and we went for a stroll through the halls before settling back down in her room again.

I told her Pam would be coming to see her tomorrow and I could tell she was excited about that.
I have posted on Facebook about my visits with her and tagged her so her friends could see.
Tonight I read her all the comments and she was unusually responsive and I could tell she knew and remembered her friends and her cousin.

Life can be hard and there are many loved ones suffering tonight.
Our dear family friend, Joni. lost her son yesterday. The funeral will be Friday and I will be there with my siblings. We all love Joni and her precious mother, Lily. 

Summer called me while I was with Reaoma and I could tell something was terribly wrong.
A dear friend of hers and Sabrina's lost her mother this afternoon.
There was a head on collision when the other driver had a heart attack.

My heart is heavy tonight as I write.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Our Last Monday in February Felt Like Spring!

Both Louis Dean and I got a good night's sleep and I woke up to the smell of coffee, bacon and hot cakes! Can it get any better than that?? I don't think so.
I mean I was in a DEEP sleep but that aroma could not be resisted.
It was like old times with Louis Dean bringing my my first cup of coffee in bed.
I loved it!
He had already eaten but as soon as I ventured out of the bedroom, he was flipping some more pancakes and served them hot, buttered, and with a healthy amount of maple syrup...... along with that delicious bacon and another cup of creamed cinnamon flavored coffee.
Not all the way but close enough for me to relax again!
Sunday was sunny and beautiful and today was much the same.

I decided to go out to the gazebo and see what I could do.
I opened up all the rain curtains for the very first time this year!
Leaves had piled up in there and it needed a good cleaning.
I washed all the tablecloths and covers and used the blower to clean up the floor.

Look who I found on a book! I moved him to the arm of one of the rocking chairs and he stayed there for over an hour before I noticed he was gone.
He must have been a brand new grasshopper!

I went in to heat up our late lunch - by this time it was around 3:00 - and Louis Dean called to me from the garden area and said, "Linda! Come and see! I have something to show you!"

Green onions!!!
We have been meaning to get out there and pull up all the old tomato vines and pepper plants and get the ground ready for the spring planting.
It was nice to see something green growing in the middle of all the dead stuff!

I had to pull one of the onions to eat with my lunch.....
and yes, we are still eating that chicken noodle soup.
I may put the rest of it in the freezer tomorrow. 
Enough is enough and it will be so good to pop out and eat at a later day.

I bought a couple of cantaloupe last week and cut one up today and it was sweet as sugar!!
They are from Mexico and really good. I tried a watermelon last month and it was too soon.
Stephanie sent over some last week and it was good.
Sprinkled with salt and pepper - cantaloupe is one of my favorite foods in all the world.

Louis Dean is feeling better and better each and every day.
Since we were out there in the gazebo together, I decided to take all the debris down from the top.

Louis Dean bought a brand new sturdy ladder and it was easy peasy to get down all the lights.
Now it looks clean.
Good thing I did it, too! 
Birds were beginning to build a nest up there amongst all the pine cones!
It looked like the perfect place to them!

Louis Dean was tired so he went off to bed to take what turned into a 3 hour nap.....

and I put my feet up and read for an hour or so.

This is Tiffany Baker's first novel and I can hardly put it down!
I will finish it tonight.
I did not know she wrote Mercy Snow......that's another book on my stack to read.

Between reading sessions, I continued to work in the area around the gazebo, taking down the winter garlands and replacing them with the pine cone one Summer bought for me over 10 years ago.

It was dark by the time I finished out there!
The lights are still on in the gazebo because I intend to go back and sit with a glass of wine while I finish that book.
Then I may need to pull the curtains back together as I noticed rain is back in the forecast for tonight and the next two days.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Blah Days and a Sunny Sunday!

I have had a couple of blah days. We all have them from time to time.
 They remind me of that saying -
"It's perfectly okay to have a Pity Party! Just do NOT invite any guests!"
While I have not had anything close to a pity party, Friday and Saturday were a bit blue.
Partly the weather, I'm sure. I love rainy days but even I was thinking 'Enough, already!'

Louis Dean proclaims loudly and often that he 'HATES PASTA!'
It's a running family joke that we tell him we are having PASTA!
Now, he loves spaghetti. Weird, right?? Isn't it the same thing as noodles and such?
Anyway, Friday evening I made a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup.
I would share the recipe but I made it up as I went along.
It was seriously good, though!

Good enough that Louis Dean at his whole bowl full!
I also made him a big batch of banana pudding.
I used to make it homemade but it was really more trouble that it was worth.
The instant mixes taste just as good as my homemade and are a lot easier and faster to make.
As I write this - there is one tiny bowl's worth of pudding left and I haven't had any!
I do believe Louis Dean's appetite is coming back!

Between the rains I walked around the back yard and spied some signs of spring.
This time last year, we were already knee deep in mulch and potting soil getting the yard in shape.
So far I have managed to clip one small rose bed. 
Perhaps next week I can get some serious yard work done.

This is Louis Dean on Saturday!
We switched places in the fact that he got dressed and I stayed in my pajamas.
He still stayed on the couch most of the day when he wasn't in the guest room.
He's been having some terrible asthma attacks.
I'm thinking the steroids are supposed to be helping that.
He's finished his Tamiflu and is still taking his antibiotics and steroids.
At least he felt like watching back to back Gunsmokes and lots of news.

What did I do Saturday?
I mostly stayed in bed and read.
Oh, I would get up and run the dishwasher and  a load of laundry.
I tidied up the clean rooms and sorted through a drawer of old papers.
I wasn't sick but I didn't feel like doing much of anything.
Normally, I keep a running list in my head of things to do and, normally, I am DOING  them.
Not Saturday. I was a little concerned about myself. I don't remember the last time I felt that lethargic. I could not WAIT to go to bed!
I think I tucked myself in at 8:30 and left Louis Dean to sleep in his recliner in the den.
He had come to me Friday and said he thought he was allergic to something in the guest room because he was fine in the den and then would get in bed and start coughing.
Silly man! I told him it was because he was lying down. He needs to stay in a reclined position - at least until he gets better. Even the doctor told him that.

So - there I was in bed blissfully asleep - when what does he do but come in and take off all the pillows I still had propped up on his side of the bed. He proceeded to pull the covers back and crawled into bed.......and then has a huge hacking, choking, strangling, spitting, spewing asthma attack. After he finally got settled down - he went back to the den - leaving me wide awake!
And I STAYED awake for over 3 more hours!

This morning I asked him what he was thinking???
He said, "I just thought I was so much better I would come in here and sleep with my beautiful wife." He gets points for his wording but not enough to clear the balance!

Fortunately, I woke up this morning feeling so much better - as in NO BLAHS!
I dressed, put on makeup and fixed my hair.
The list was once again running through my mind and I was knocking things out!
Not big things but stuff like having coffee, starting more laundry and doing some cleaning.
I knew Louis Dean wouldn't be up to going to church so I was happy when he suggested we watch Ed Young, Sr on Winning Walk. He had recorded several of them and we watched three of them back to back.

I am now convinced that I am not carrying the flu around with me so I went out in the world today.

I walked Centennial Park and it was nice to see so many families out there.

No one's in my photos but there were lots of people around so I walked the whole trail twice.

Then I stopped at McDonald's to get a small chocolate shake and went to visit Reaoma.

She loves chocolate shakes but this may be the last one I get for her.
Reaoma has a brain condition that is causing her body to shut down.
It started with her eyesight. And I believe she was falling often. She would laugh and say she tripped on a blade of grass. Next was her speech. It got slower and slower. Now I think she can only say 'yeah.' She will never get any better and it is heartbreaking.
Her daughter, Pam, sees that her mother is taken care of but she herself just had a major back surgery and will be recovering for awhile. I haven't visited Reaoma this past week because I was afraid I might have the flu germs on me and that would be fatal to her. She is on hospice as it is.

The milkshake was hard for her to swallow this evening even though I had let it melt down some.
She ate a good dinner. I like to arrive around suppertime so I can feed her.
The aid chopped up her salad for me and Reaoma ate just about all of it. There was mashed sweet potatoes, ham and jello and she ate a good amount. After dinner, I wheeled her up and down all the halls and all around the nursing home. When the aids came around, we talked and I told them about us being next door neighbors for 17 years. When Reaoma turned 40, she bought herself a bright red jeep! She loves the summer heat and sunshine and I told them how she would be outside in the hot sun painting her house - while wearing a yellow bikini! And, yes, she looked GOOD in it, too!
I  would take Amber and Benjamin down to visit them every August after she and Doug had moved to their land in Grapeland, Texas where they build a log house. Doug would take the kids fishing and boating and they would ride horses, shoot guns and climb trees. Doug taught Amber how to drive my van! He meant the world to my children and they loved him and he loved them.
Doug passed away in April of 2012 on the same day Amber was admitted to the hospital where she stayed for 51 days before the quads were born.
She mourned for Doug and mourned not being able to see him during that last year when he was so sick.

I am very grateful that I can be here for Reaoma. I had a friend - also a neighbor - who I loved and who had cancer. While I cooked and baked and visited and all.....when it was obvious to her that she was dying....and when she needed someone to talk to....I let her down. I have never got over that and I hope to never do that again.

I came home this evening and Louis Dean had been in the kitchen cooking pancakes.
That's a good sign he is getting better!
I went out in the front and cut back some things in the next flower bed. I intend to do the big rose bed tomorrow. Louis Dean had put the blower out there for me and I cleaned off the front porch while he went in the back yard and burned some papers.
I'm cleaning out drawers and closets and I have found more papers than I ever knew I had! My desk drawer was FULL and oh, so heavy! I threw all of it out except for the old eHarmony papers that I will keep forever! I smile every time I look at them!

Louis Dean just got out of a hot bath and I think we will watch a little something on TV.
NOT a Gunsmoke or the news!
And before I go to bed tonight, I am going to remind him that he must keep his head elevated - so that means he will be sleeping in the den!

He can save that 'beautiful wife' line for another day - when he isn't coughing and choking!!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Louis Dean WILL Get Well.......It Just Might Take Awhile!

I'm so happy that Louis Dean felt better today!
While he is still sick, at least he could get dressed and walk to the car and then sit up long enough to get to the doctor and walk to the office.
It all took a good bit of energy and he was wiped out when we got up there.

He is the best sport in the world about me taking his picture!
You can't tell it here but he even shaved this morning!
Yesterday he could not have made it to an appointment.

He's lost 10 pounds since last Friday.

The doctor checked him out and decided to give him a breathing treatment.
That just about did him in! He couldn't quite finish it. The nurse came in about that time and he told her he felt like he was about to pass out. He had been sitting in a chair so she helped him up on the table so he could lie down and caught him by his belt and pulled him on over when he nearly toppled off. Praise God for strong nurses who do what needs to be done!
She let him rest a good long while and she even stayed in there and kept us company.
She said she didn't need the room - she had two others.
Perhaps it was a slow day but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.
Louis Dean told her some of his stories about working in the bakery and his Shep Woolie story about 'diving off deeper and coming up drier!'
Most doctor visits are short and impersonal. Not so with Louis Dean's visits!
You think it's his charm? I think maybe so.
She called in a Rx for steroids and said to get that man a milkshake!
We will go back in one week for a follow up.

I took him home and settled him back in bed before I went out to do the errands.
I went to the grocery store for some protein shakes, fruits and such. Then I went to the pharmacy and picked up his Rx's. She advised him to use his inhaler as often as needed as this whole respiratory thing has kicked his asthma up several notches.

My last stop was Braums where I got him not ONE milkshake but FOUR!
He drank the first one and I put the others in the freezer where I can add a protein drink and mix it up in the blender tomorrow.
When I came in the door, I could hear Gunsmoke on TV!
Music to my ears!

I lit the fireplace and we sat in there - less than an hour - while he finished Gundsmoke.
Boy! Miss Kitty was really upset about something in that episode!

He went back to bed in the guest room while I did some housework.
First I picked up the 'clean rooms' and lit the candles before going to the dining room.

After I dusted and cleaned, I picked out two drawers in this small buffet and cleaned them out.
I found some old photos and a myriad amount of odds and ends. Lots of handmade book markers - from Amber and Benjamin and my niece, Sarah, and some I made on watercolor paper.
I have enough business size envelopes to last the rest of my lifetime and that of my children's!

This is the arrangement I made with the flowers from Goodwill.

I now pronounce the dining room CLEAN and the candle is lit!

I saw all over Facebook that today is National Margarita Day!
I crave salt so a good margarita is a favorite drink for me when we go out to eat.
No way that's happening tonight so I bought the ingredients to make my own.
I'll let you know how it turns out!

I told Louis Dean I would watch this movie with him so I threw another log on the fire and tuned up the VCR.

 Now I'm going to see about making that margarita!
I bought limes!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Day #5 has had its ups and downs.

I was grateful Louis Dean was able to sit up this morning and watch a little news.
He ate some grits and applesauce......less than one cup total but still more than yesterday.
He stayed up a little over half an hour before he had to go back to bed.

Today was a home day. I didn't even bother to get dressed.


This is probably one of the very very few pics of me without make up.
It's been a cold rainy day here in north Texas, and since I didn't have to go anywhere, I stayed in 'costume.' A heavy top, fleece pajama bottoms, socks and house shoes and a warm scarf to keep the chill off my neck. I haven't needed to turn the heat on since we have a window heat unit in the den and Louis Dean said he breathes easier in cooler air.

This afternoon he was able to sit up on the side of the bed and sip some potato soup.
He couldn't do this yesterday.

He has felt miserable all day.
He worries about his heart since his chest hurts.
Guess what he did to take his mind off of his misery?
He asked if he could borrow my Alexa!
He's been talking to her ever since asking for George Owens songs, then Merle Haggard and on and on. He was talking to Alexa so much I kept thinking he was calling ME!
Finally, Summer (with whom I've been texting) suggested a bell.
That worked!

He gets really sick after he takes his medicine.
Lying on the couch in the den gave him a change of scenery and he could listen to the Downton Abbey I was watching.


It hurts me to see him suffer so.
He has complained about his arms hurting so badly he can hardly stand it.
I told him this is what Summer feels like much of the time.
Then I threw caution to the winds and held his hands and massaged his arms.
Then I scrubbed my hands and said a prayer that I don't catch the flu.
I spray a lot of Lysol and I spray everything he touches.

It's nearly 10:30 and the only medicine I haven't given him is the cough syrup.
I can hear him coughing so I will probably give that to him before I shower and go to bed.

Other than hovering around and taking care of Louis Dean, I cleaned out the foyer closet.

I found a treasure trove of Benjamin's Tae Kwon Do things.

I took them out so I could look at them a few days before packing them away.
I think he may want them someday.
I sent him photos of them this evening.

We have an appointment with his primary care doctor tomorrow afternoon.
That's a comfort to me.
The flu is scary and I think we both need some reassurance that he is getting well.
Thank you all for the prayers.......

And tonight I am praying for Reaoma's daughter, Pam, who had a very complicated back surgery this morning and is recovering. She has a rough road ahead of her but she can do it.

And I am praying for a loved friend, also named Linda. Her husband is on hospice. They have been married a long time. I cannot imagine what she is going through as she prepares to say goodbye.