Sunday, March 31, 2019

Rest and Recover Weekend......

I woke up Saturday feeling like a truck had run right over me because I hurt just about all over.
I took a couple of Aleve, plugged in the heating pad and stayed in bed until the afternoon.
The heat on my shoulders and neck felt good.

Bed is a good place to be.
I read and prayed, wrote in my Country Diary and played word games.
And I napped.
Louis Dean kept the coffee coming bringing a new cup to replace the one I had just finished.
Three cups in all. It worries Louis Dean when I am sick and he hovers and waits on me.

I relocated to the den in the afternoon - taking my heating pad with me and made a bed on the couch.
I even popped some popcorn.

We watched The Bucket List. Probably not the best choice since it brought back memories of Louis Dean's beloved Ellen when she was so sick with cancer. Still, I think he enjoyed the movie for the most part and then we both went to bed to take naps.

I had meant to get up and fix us some food and watch another movie but I woke up sick with a stomach bug that lasted the rest of the night.
Now Louis Dean really worried and I was too sick to comfort him.
He would stand at the bedroom door and then come over and stand by the bed checking on me.
I asked him to sleep in the guest room as I certainly didn't want him to get sick, too.
I was in bed so much Saturday that the day morphed into the night and by 2:00 AM I was finally feeling better and slept well the rest of the night.

Louis Dean was up before me this Sunday morning.
He already knew we weren't going to church so he recorded Ed Young, Sr.'s Winning Walk on TV for us to watch and had fixed my coffee but hadn't turned it on yet.
When he heard me in the kitchen, he came in, saw that I was feeling better and smiled so big, laughed and hugged me saying, "I am SO happy you are better!!"
I'm telling you, it squeezed my heart.
I don't think there's any better feeling in all the world than to know I am so truly loved.
I made us some cheese toast for a quick breakfast and we caught up on our Bible reading and watched the service he'd recorded.

Even though I felt so much better, I continued to rest most of this day.
I did a little puttering here and there....I wrote and mailed a note.....ran some laundry....
did a few chores.

Mostly I rested.
It was another chilly day so I lit the fireplace and binge watched the last season of Fixer Upper.

Louis Dean worked outside doing some work on the kitchen wall.
I could hear him if he called and needed me to hold the ladder or fetch something.
Yesterday he didn't do any projects of any kind other than play his music.
But since I wasn't really sick today and he didn't feel like he had to keep an eye on me - he set about doing one of his projects. He loves doing things and I think that's what keeps him young.
It's like his hobby - doing the various repairs and updates and such.
He's good about taking breaks and resting - usually.

The least I could do was make dinner.
I thought taking a pic before I cut open and loaded up the baked potatoes looked healthier!

Keeping it real here, folks!
We still have a lot of work to do and are trying to get it done before we go back down to the ranch. 
I'm getting excited about getting back down there. The word is they have new critters! Goats and pups!!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Thursday With the Ladies and Friday Things.....

I was up early Thursday so I could finish cooking lunch for the ladies at the nursing home.
I did as much prep work as I could the night before and was loaded and on the road about 10:30.
I stopped at Nita's and zapped the food in her microwave for one last burst of heat before I served it.
Nita's house is less than 10 minutes from the nursing home.

I don't quite have my act together but I am working on it.
The table was a hodge podge of pretty dishes and tablecloth, Pioneer Woman silverware, spring flower napkin rings and cloth napkins along plastic bowls and re purposed containers.
I carry most of the table things in a large wicker basket with a handle. 
The basket is old. The handle is worn. The things were heavy.
I should not have been surprised when the handle broke off as I was walking from the parking lot to the door of the home. Thankfully I had cut across the grass so everything landed without mishap and I scooped it all back in. Without a handle, the basket was rather awkward to transport now. A worker was just arriving and saw my dilemma and helped me carry the things in.

You never know what you're going to encounter when you arrive at a nursing home.
That day there was a rather large and rather loud resident blocking the door with her wheelchair and cussing another resident who was just coming back in with his family.
I mean that woman could cuss like a sailor!
Thank goodness Lillian's door was closed but I know they could hear every word.
It took several of the staff to get the situation under control.
I went ahead to the living area and set the table with all my things - going back to get the insulated bag with the cold items in it.
By this time the woman who had been so disruptive was sitting in the middle of the nurse's station as meek as a lamb.

I went off to fetch Lillian and Margaret.
Lillian fell as she was getting out of bed a few weeks ago and her eye is still discolored and there's still a small knot above her eyebrow. 

We had a nice lunch together.
The pork chops were really good but they just ate half of one.
They both liked the baked potatoes and ate every bit and I was happy to see Margaret get a second helping of green beans. The surprise star of the meal was the pimento stuffed celery. They loved that!
You should have seen their smiles when I told them I was leaving the rest with them.

I guess the furniture at the nursing home is what has been donated.
The large dining table - used as a game table - looks good enough and appears sturdy.
It's never clean, though, and I cover it with a cloth.
But when I lean over to reach something in the middle - the table wobbles. It feels like it is not attached to the pedestal base but simply sitting on top of it.

They spend so much time in their rooms that we lingered long at the table.
I cleared the food and dishes off, packed up my things, took them back to the car and returned with a jigsaw puzzle.

We spent over an hour finding the straight edges.
I think it was a good activity for Lillian. You don't really think about things when you are working a puzzle. She seemed to relax and lose herself for a bit. Margaret got sleepy after she ate and dozed off in her wheelchair. After we found all the border pieces, we rolled the mat up and went back to the room.

It was too large a puzzle to fit on the bed tray in there.
By this time Summer had joined us and was helping put the border together when we dropped the entire box of pieces. Oops!!
Summer's friend, Mary, had been released from the hospital that morning so that was good news.
Since she was in the area, she decided to stop and visit with us for a little while.
She stayed while I made a grocery run to Walmart to stock their little fridge up.
We will be going to the  ranch next week so it will be awhile before I get back over there and I wanted to make sure they had some extra food and treats.
I asked them what they were hungry for and Lillian always says she doesn't eat much and seldom ever asks for anything specific. I asked about cereal. No....she said....but then I caught Margaret's eye and she started nodding her head up and down. What kind? "Raisin Bran," she said. 
I said, "I bought that and it wasn't what you wanted." Then she made a face letting me know that it wasn't what Lillian wanted - but she likes it!
What else?" I asked.
"You know what I would really love to have?? I great big ole piece of bologna!"
Now she was talking my language!
Turns out she likes a simple bologna and cheese sandwich on white bread with mayo. I do, TOO!

Off I went to get that and the cereal, milk, bananas, a container of the shrimp and seafood salad they both love and a few other things like a Glade plug in and new Sunflower place mats.

When I got back, they had decided the puzzle was too big with too many pieces so it was all back in the box from whence it came. I took it to the living room and put it in the game cupboard.
We may try a smaller puzzle with larger pieces next time.
I put the food things up and gave Lillian some nightgowns and pajamas I had for her.
She loved them and I was so glad I had not taken them to the Goodwill with all the other stuff I've been cleaning out. I had washed them thinking she might like them and she sure did.

While Summer stayed on to visit, I went off to check on Roberta and found her sitting up in a chair listening to the Texas Ranger game on the radio while she took a breathing treatment.
She's still on hospice and I don't think she will be here long but my heart soared to see her dressed and in the chair. I sat on her 'throne' while we talked. That's what she calls the chair in her room with the burgundy cover on it that Summer had bought for her. Her dinner arrived - and it smelled good! - and she said I could feed her. It made my day to see her eat fairly well. We talked some more and prayed and I told her I wouldn't be back for a few weeks.
She said that she would be with Jesus......if not here on earth....then in heaven.
I told her I want to be just like her 'when I grow up!'
I really do.....

I hadn't meant to stay so late and now it was in the middle of heavy traffic time. 
So I lingered a little longer.
When I got ready to leave, Lillian gave me the biggest hug.
Back when Mother was still Lillian's roommate, I had told her that even after Mother was gone, I was not going to leave Lillian. I assured her we would still visit and keep up our relationship.
When she hugged me again, I said, "I will not leave you! I will be back!"
She said, "Linda, I love you! If you ever leave, I want you to take me with you!"
I love that lady.
I am reminded of my great love for another dear old lady......Mrs. Morrison.
I was very young (15) and she was very old - or at least I thought so at the time. She was 63.
I love Lillian with that same kind of love. There's only 14 years difference in our ages.
Last night we talked about what she was doing when she was my age.
Much the same things as I am doing now.
We go to the ranch.
She and her husband had a place at Lake Palestine.
They were in the bus ministry at their church.
She was busy, active and happy.
Lillian has had a good life with lots of good memories to look back on.
Her recent sorrows have not stolen her joy and gratitude.
She's a fine lady and I'm proud to know her.

I ended up spending the whole day at the nursing home and that was a good thing.
I didn't work hard and I had sat and rested while visiting so it was with a light heart that I winged my way home. I unloaded my stuff and put all the dishes in the dishwasher and did some damage control before Louis Dean and I packed up an overnight bag and drove over to Dallas to spend the night at Amber and Mike's.

We wanted to go to the school assembly this morning but knew it would be hard to get there at 7:45 unless we were already at their house.

It was still hard. But so worth it!!!
I woke up at 6:00 and made a cup of coffee in their Keurig.
I found Louis Dean all dressed and asleep in the living room!

The kids were downstairs getting their shoes on and I showed that pic to Trystan.
She smiled and said, "Oh, Granddad!"

I asked her who could wake him up???
If I did it, he would be grumpy!!
So SHE did!
And he wasn't grumpy at all!

And just like that, there were all four of them piled on top and giving him a morning hug!

I'm happy to say Louis Dean and I were on time - nearly - at the assembly!
And we got to see Trystan receive the MVP award for the first grade!

I'm so proud of Amber and Mike!!
And Trystan!
I'm proud of Kailey, Harrison and Logan, too!!
And as a proud MeeMaw.....can I just say that they ALL got straight A's on their report cards??

We came home - it wasn't even 9:00! - and went straight to bed.
We got up after lunch and went to the center to walk.
 I have stayed in bed a lot today just resting. Did a little light housework and some reading.

Louis Dean made hamburgers for extra!

Is he the only one to put cucumbers on his hamburger?

I am actually back in bed as I write this with my laptop on the white bed tray.
Classical music 101.1 is on the radio and the back door is open to the night.
It's been cooler today and will be cooler still tomorrow.
Saturday is my 'home' day - a day that I don't have to leave the house.
I'm going to do a good cleaning in the den, watch movies and light the fireplace.

And I do!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Catching Up.....Mon/Tues/Wed......

Monday morning - or actually early afternoon - we meant to start bright and early and instead it was just bright with the sun shining. There is shade on this west side of the house until about 1:00. Then it's full sun until it goes down. Thankfully, it was pleasantly warm and not hot.

Louis Dean painted high.....
and I painted low.

While he was doing his part, I was turning some of my photos into pencil sketches for art projects.

These are all scenes from the country and the ranch.
All I need to do is enlarge them to the size of the canvas I choose.

We stopped painting after doing the wall to the right of the kitchen French doors and cleaned up for our evening activities.

I was in the bedroom getting dressed when I heard a swooshing flock of cedar waxwings arrive to eat all the red berries off the yaupon holly tree.

We were sitting in the gazebo a year or two ago when we heard them swoop down and start eating.
 They ate every single berry in under an hour.

And Monday they did it agian!
It took a little longer this time because the tree had grown back after the severe pruning Louis Dean had given it.
That was a lot of birds and a whole lot of berries.

We went to the center and did our walking before driving to Dallas to watch the quad's very first hockey game!

They were amazing!!!!

Their first game. 6 girls and 3 boys.
The coach asked for a volunteer to be goalie......and Kailey said she would do it!
She was pretty awesome!
First time she had EVER put on all that gear and still managed to skate with it.
It was hard for her to stand up so she had to hang on to the net a lot and still she did a good job. 
She stopped some scores and amazed everybody.
All the other players went on and off the ice.....but Kailey stayed.
In the second half, she left the ice for a few minutes. I think it was Logan that took over - minus all the gear. But Kailey is no quitter and wanted to finish out the game so she came back on the ice - to the cheers and applause of all the parents!

So I think that made her the MVP of this first game!!

But the REAL heroes Monday night.......

......were Amber and Mike!!
The amount of hard work just to get all four kids there and dressed and suited up is massive.

To celebrate they went to Chick Fil A along with another great couple whose daughter plays on the team. 

We tagged along and had so much fun!
I don't know who we were prouder of - the kids or the parents!!!

They went home to do showers, school prep for the next morning and Amber did the lunches, laundry and all the endless other tasks she has to complete before SHE can go to bed!

As for us - we drove home and went right to bed.

However, for some reason I did not sleep well at all.
It was 4:00 in the morning and I was still awake.

Louis Dean was up way before I was and he was getting ready to paint just as soon as we had our coffee and devotionals.

I was so tired that I decided to take a day for myself.
I unloaded a very full trunk at the Goodwill before going in to see if I could find a few treasures.

Of course, I found a few!
The cool basket was just $3.99 less 25%.
Same with the Paris can. Both were brand new.

I loved this Happy Everything ceramic platter.
The truck is attached with Velcro. Apparently you can buy other cute pieces for the different occasions. 

A new fall runner.....brand new.

Two nice place mats - new.

This is a cool high quality pillow.
As a matter of fact, I have it in the chair cushioning the small of my back.

Seems like I have been wearing a good deal of black in recent years and I found my newest top yesterday! It draped nicely and makes my stomach look flatter than it is!
I'll be wearing this in the morning.

This one does the same thing!
It just needs a tiny button at the back replaced.
I'm going to do that tomorrow.

I have a whole drawer stuffed full of scarves. 
Now there are 15 spring ones hanging in my closet making it easier to find.

From there I decided to stop at Irving Massage and get a 20 minute chair massage.
My right shoulder across and down my back, arm and even my hand has been aching.
I think I am sleeping wrong on it. The massage was nice but it didn't really help.
I'm using Ben Gay now.
Lastly,  I had a mani/pedi at Lovely Nails before going home.

I fixed us a nice salad supper with a healthier dressing.
I still need to experiment with making my own.

We were both tired and dragging but we drug ourselves to the center to walk anyway.
However, we cried uncle after 15 minutes on the treadmill and came back home.
I went straight to bed and stayed there for 12 hours!

This morning, Wednesday morning, I was feeling better so we decided to walk before we got on with our projects for the day. We stayed the course and did our full time plus some. Like 2 minutes more. Let's don't go crazy!
Louis Dean went to work painting and I worked in the kitchen.....
making potato salad, chocolate chip cookies, grilled some smoked sausages and prepped lunch for tomorrow at the nursing home. I still have to go in and make a fluffy salad before I go to bed.
The house smells good - from the cookies. I used butter instead of shortening. It made them really crispy. I'm taking cookies instead of cake this time. I am a bit tired of making cakes.

Can you believe I did not take any pictures for today?
I feel like I'm off my game.

Hopefully I will wake up feeling like my normal self in the morning.
If I don't, I'll just push on!

I'm closing tonight thinking about Summer and Mary.
Summer has been staying with Mary, a dear friend who is in the hospital with a very serious lung condition.

Summer ordered Chinese take out for dinner tonight.
Hospital food was okay but Mary has been there for several days.
I think the fortune cookies are spot on.
Mary's is at the top.....Summer's on the bottom.

God has a plan and a purpose for all of matter our own state of health.....or if we're tired.
Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do the thing that needs doing....
like visiting the sick....filling the needs of others....praying and caring.

And now I'm going back to the kitchen to fix that salad and then calling this day done!!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

A Weekend of Finding Memories While Redeeming Things.....and an Update on Lillian....

Friday we started work on the sewing room.
That flash flood from last September did damage that we are just now addressing.
There was mold that we tended to and after treating it, applying Kiltz and a lot of cleaning - we were ready to put the room back together.

I found some treasures that had fallen behind things......

like this autographed photo of Monty and Dually......

Amber loved horses when she was a little girl - and still does.
Monty Roberts was known as the Horse Whisperer.

The four shelves bookcase that held all our cookbooks was so damaged that Louis Dean had to cut it off and make it a three shelf bookcase.

I found this treasure on one of the shelves.
It wasn't lost because I knew it was there.

It was a gift from Deanie 47 years ago on my 23rd birthday.
I have used many of the recipes and will forever keep this cookbook in my collection.
While I may not live to be 123 - I am going to work on it!!

Amber's first cat was named Calico......I painted this in 1990 and it had fallen behind the bookcase.

The entire room was a total mess!
I took the curtains, shades and blinds down and washed everything.

Things were all piled up int the closet area and we even carried stuff out to the gazebo.

This is the way it looked Friday night when we went to bed.

Saturday morning we started in again.

Slowly but surely, I was able to reclaim order out of the chaos.

By the way, the kitchen is on the other side of the window looking area where the Pfaltzgraff pottery is on the shelves. To the left of that back lamp on the bookshelf is the dining room.
The French doors (where I was standing to take this pic) open out to the gazebo.

I am not a true stitcher like my friend, Arlene, but I have done some work that I just can't throw out.

I really need to take these apart and wash them but for now I cleaned them up the best I could - and hung them on the wall.

I remember the hours I spent on each of these.....

especially this one! It's not a good picture but I do love this scene.

I hung this right above the desk and I can see it now as I write.

I have so many memories in each and every room.

I love this sewing room and it is now more user friendly than it was.
My crafts, fabrics, sewing machine, so many books and cookbooks, all organized and where I can put my hands on what I need when I need it!

Saturday evening Louis Dean built us a campfire and we sat in the gazebo looking into the sewing room and admiring our work.

One project we can call done!
With the exception of the ceiling repair from the water leak last fall.
All in good time..... that's in the closet area and not noticeable .....much......

This morning we were up and ready to go to church!

It's March Madness at Fellowship!
I am not a basketball fan and do not know a thing about the game but I know lots of people love the Mavericks!

It was so much fun to see these two on the stage doing what they do!
Going to church is always an adventure with a scriptural sermon that applies to real life every single Sunday!

After church Louis Dean and I made a trip to Home Depot to buy house paint.

I paint the house like they paint the Golden Gate Bridge......
once you finish - it's time to start over again.
That's why I paint it the same color.
We do not hire it done - we are old school and do it ourselves.
That's why it takes so long.

We took a tea break in the gazebo and Louis Dean spied the first gecko of the year.

We have lots of geckos but the contest is to see the very first one in the gazebo!
Every time we get a new gazebo - it takes the geckos a long time to come on in.
After the spring storms pass, we will put up all new rain curtains, screens and cover.
Hopefully they will still feel welcome.
It's amazing how we can entertain ourselves simply watching a gecko stalk, catch and eat its prey!

One thing leads to another and we set about getting the wall (it's the side of the house where the kitchen is) ready to start painting in the morning.

That meant cutting down the greenery that had overgrown and was spreading its branches over the deck. That deck is another project for this year. Louis Dean is great at putting in decks. Good thing!

I can hear Louis Dean in there drawing his bath water so I will wrap this up.
The May flies do not realize it is still March and they are fluttering all around me as I sit here at the desk in the sewing room. I best shut the French doors! They are harmless but a bit annoying when there are so many.

As I was leaving church, I got a phone call from Nita. She visits Lillian on Sunday afternoons and Lillian wanted to talk to me to give me an update.
It seems that Lillian's daughter, Ann, was holding on to life until she could see her mother because an hour after Lillian left the hospital on Thursday, Ann passed away. The funeral will be on Tuesday.
I told Lillian we would be there on Thursday to visit and bring in lunch.
She has lost her son and now her oldest daughter.
Lillian is broken hearted because her two daughters and their families were - and still are - estranged.
What comfort they could be to each other is apparently not possible and it puts Lillian in an impossible situation.

Tonight I am praying for Lillian and her surviving daughter and the grandchildren of both daughters.
And I am also rejoicing and thanking God for my siblings.......
I love that we love and appreciate each other.