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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Free Chick Thing 20

Still haven't finished all the figures for the hen party. Tomorrow I have 2 doctor appointments and a funeral, so I'm taking the day off from posting and will work on the other figures when I find time between things. Today I do have the first part of the hen party for you:

Dad seems to be doing a little better. Tonight was his turn to worry about his girlfriend when he couldn't reach her by phone. Called us wondering if we had heard from her and asked for her son's phone number to check with him. Chances are she had either fallen asleep early or else there was some kind of activity at her retirement home.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sharing a memory and a freebie

First, a little memory of Saturday's graduation:
Yes those old worn out people are me and my husband. Got to get a haircut 'cause pulling it back off my face on;y makes me look worse.

Still working on last Chick Thing zip. It's about a hen party. So today another Touch of Color.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sorry to have been missing & freebie

I should have known better. On Saturday 6/17 our grandson, Tyler, graduated from high school. The commencement exercise was to begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Virginia Beach Convention Center where there would be 477 graduates and each had an average of 7 tickets for family and friends. Tyler said to get there early so we could get a good parking space and seats. We got up at 6 a.m. (Yuck!) Once commencement started, it was done in about 3 hours. Tyler graduated with honors from Ocean Lakes High School's Math & Sciences Academy (a special program for gifted students). Some photos outside where it was sprinkling, then home for a quick lunch. A pool party was planned at 2 p.m. for Tyler but more thunderstorms was coming so the party would have to be moved indoors. We found 3 phone messages from Dad's girlfriend. She had called Dad repeatedly and couldn't get an answer. Was something wrong? We were planning to visit Dad anyway so just stopped by to see Tyler and give him his graduation gift.

We found Dad sleeping peacefully and nursing said he had been doing fine. So we sat down and waited to see if Dad would wake up. Attempts to wake him just earned us a peek from half-opened eyes followed by a snuggle back down in bed. We were planning to leave when my ex-husband arrived to visit Dad. He'd driven down from the Charlottesville area, concerned about the recent hospitalization. The nurse came in and tried to rouse Dad, letting him know he had company. He opened his eyes, looked at her, said "I'm tired" and back to sleep he went. He's got his days and nights missed up. So the three of us sat there watching Dad and I caught my ex up on Dad's condition and how my brother is doing. By the time we got home, and had a little dinner, I was done for.

I planned to make up the post yesterday but woke during the night with a blocked ear, dizziness and nausea. Stayed in bed most of the day and tried to clear up the sinus congestion and ear problem. and here it is Monday.

Chick Thing is drawing to a close and I haven't had any comments about wishes for new kits. Guess you will have to be surprised. I have one more zip of Chick Thing I'm working on and it might not be ready to post tomorrow. If not, I'll come up with something else for the day.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Dad, Modern Brides, and freebie

Went to the hospital yesterday afternoon, fighting traffic (the 15th is military payday). Was told Dad would be released by medical transport about 3:30. Snagged some food real quick on the way and nibbled as I drove. Don't worry - just waffle fries and chicken nuggets from Chick Filet, so safe to grab with one hand and pop in the mouth. I get there, find Dad asleep and when the aide comes in sometime later I'm told transport won't arrive until between 6 - 8 p.m. Went back down to the car to finish my lunch. Dad still sleeping when I got back up stairs. I read until my eyes were tired.

TV in his room was tuned to a channel on which "Say Yes to the Dress" was on. Not something I ever watch but nothing better to do. What an eye opener! All these brides looking for transparent gowns! Oh, they tried on a nice gowns that weren't transparent but . . . they all wanted to look sexy. Showing my age, I'm sure, but whatever happened to wanting to look like a princess, looking elegant? I totally get the days of innocence and purity are behind us, but these brides were trying on "dresses" that were, to borrow what my mother would have said, Trashy! I mean dresses that consisted of a low cut strapless corset top where the breasts were barely covered and down to the waist or below was just see through fabric with some lace and sparkle, the balance as form fitting as possible. One woman even talked to the consultant about having the see through part extended down to bikini line! Used to be you saved the see through lingerie for the honeymoon and just your husband's eyes. Now, it seems, brides who can afford these dresses (that cost between $5,000 - $10,000) are after showing off next to everything to all their guests. And why do big heavy brides nearly always choose strapless gowns their breasts threaten to pop out of? Just sayin'.

And now, at last today's freebie about something sort of related to above comments - falling in love.

Question: Something summery? or shopping next?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Already Thursday and freebie

Sitting up waiting for my hair to dry (don't like to blow dry it often) so thought I'd go ahead and put up today's post. The phone rang around 11:00 p.m. and John and I just looked at each other before he answered, expecting bad news. It was Dad who has his days and nights mixed up. He was slurring his words, saying no one was telling him anything, and that he'd called for the nurse about an hour past but no one came. My husband patiently explained what I'd told him about balancing heart and kidney function (I did explain this to Dad yesterday) and sympathized with him about being stuck in the hospital. He told Dad to press nurse buzzer again (we know he gets confused so might have done something else) and said that after Dad hung up, we would call the nurses station and ask them to send someone to him. He didn't call back so I guess they did.

Had thought I might go to movie with Mary today but she didn't return my call or e-mail. Perhaps she's upset with me because we had originally talked about going on Tuesday. But I hadn't heard anything from her and went on to hospital, then discovered late last night that she was late getting back to me. Oh well.

There's a new grocery store opening nearby. It's one owned by a German company, Lidl, so hubby and I might go check it out for specials early in the morning. If no word from Mary by 11:00 a.m., I'll just get some work done then head over to hospital.

As you can see, I finally got around to changing my blog header. Today's zip has another cooking chick:
Why chicks, you might be asking. A good friend of mine, Wanda C. loves chickens. Her kitchen in Amelia County, VA was decorated in everything chicken you can think of so whenever I see cute chickens. I think of her. I'd spotted one such chick some time ago and saved it to applique to a tea towel for Wanda and got to thinking about women being referred to as "chicks" or "birds." The anthropomorphic chicks I kept seeing, and phrases like "Oh, that movie is a chick flick," and so on gave me the idea for It's a Chick Thing. And now your link:
We are drawing near to the end of Chick Thing so if you aren't into the chickens, hold on. I think next might be something shopping related because I couldn't resist buying a set of commercial use elements in that theme.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sorry & another freebie

Dad still in hospital. It's become a balancing act between heart and kidney function. Came home with migraine yesterday and crashed; therefore, no post. Today Dad said nephrologist told him kidney function is improving but Dad isn't looking well, slurring his words, seems exhausted and blood sugar taken about an hour ago was 351! Can't figure that out since he ate very little of his lunch.

Anyway, here is zip 16 about getting angry or upset:

Monday, June 12, 2017

Apologies & more Chick Thing

Sorry I neglected to post on Saturday. Ran around picking up clothing for Dad for when he is released from hospital, then over there to sit with him. He's doing much better and we hope to bring him back to nursing home today. After the hospital, it was a trip to grocery store, then cooking dinner and one thing led to another. Just lost track of time.

So today we have zip 15 & I think you will like this one. All chicks love to be complimented, don't we? But fellows, please keep it sincere!

Thank you all for kind comments on this kit. It's been a fun change of pace for me.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Today & more chick Thing freebie

Got woken up early this morning by call from hospital. Dad had complained of chest pain so was taken to ER. And off we went but some how I wasn't worried, felt everything would be okay. After sitting with him several hours, doctor came in to say it was congestive heart failure and they were going to keep dad a day or two as they had before to get fluid down. They brought him a boxed lunch since his blood sugar was low (49!). He ate most of the lunch. I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. Since all was stable, we came home and I've been trying to catch up on sleep.

Here is today's zip:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

More Chick Thing freebie

Today's zip contains a couple more papers, a border, egg basket, and wreath frame.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Heading out to lunch but have a freebie for you

Getting ready to go meet Joyce and Mary for lunch so wanted to get new post up. Today is one of the chicks I was looking forward to doing - a mother hen. Many, if not most, chicks look forward to motherhood. I particularly liked this line drawing because it both captures the anticipation of seeing your babies for the first time and the joy of mother hood. See how she lifts her first born into the air to admire him or her? Unfortunately, after figuring out the issue of eggs, the hen didn't turn out so well. I tried to get a more 3D appearance and it's just clumsy and not well defined. Sorry it isn't better. Don't look too close.

Getting tired of chickens? You are always welcome to make suggestions for theme and colors. May not always follow up on them or not right away, but sure will consider it.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Happy Birthday Larkin! and another Chick Thing freebie

Our "Lil' Princess" - granddaughter, Larkin, will be 7 today! Taking her and her mother out to dinner and then cake and gifts. Haevn't seen Larkin for weeks so looking forward to it.
(Fuzzy photo from her Mom's cell phone at Halloween)
This time last summer.

And today's freebie: some miscellaneous stuff:

And tomorrow my friend, Joyce, is coming in from North Carolina so we'll be meeting with what remains of our Red Hat group at Rt. 58 Deli for lunch. I dropped out of Red Hats because it seemed all they wanted to do was go to lunch. Don't especially care to dress up fancy in red and purple for luncheons. Not my colors and I want to do something more than go to lunch. Going to give Joyce all my Red Hat stuff since she will be joining another group in N.C. Means a little less mess in my back room and will help her out too.

Coming up soon is my son and DI'sL 1st wedding anniversary and then grandson, Tyler, will be graduating from high school and heading out to college at University of South Carolina.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Lazy Monday and new zip of Chick THing freebie

It's dreary and rainy here. I've coughed all morning from sinus trouble and haven't done a thing! Shame on me!
Today we have zip 10 of Chick Thing. The Red Hat groups I know love to line dance, which makes sense when you consider there aren't any men present at functions unless they are entertainers. When I saw a line drawing of walking or dancing chickens, I therefore thought about line damcing and had to put a red hat on one of the chicks!

And now I'll go do a little laundry and maybe something else useful.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Oops and more Chick Thing

Wow - that was a senior moment early this morning, thinking today was Sunday lol. I've been back up an hour or two, had breakfast and meds and soon heading for shower followed by short nap, then off to get some work done.
Here is Saturday freebie:

Good news and sorry to be late with freebie

Took it easy today - oops yesterday. Lost track of time, doing much of nothing. Spoke with my brother who reported his peripheral vision has returned and even though he is still having trouble with his right leg, his docs told him to go ahead and travel and come to Virginia. Yes, he could have another stroke any time or it might not happen again for 20 years. He's had heart arrhythemias [sp] before so they are also checking that out thoroughly, including implanting a sensor in his chest that records anything out of the ordinary.

So here it is now Sunday wee hours of morning but I'm going to post the Saturday freebie:
Is she too awful?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Just Sayin'

I'm not a tagger. Oh, I've made some tagger kits - mostly downsizing my full size kits for tagging use - and I've made a few tags - most often for designer friends I CT'd for. On occasion I will purchase a tagger kit to use in making ATCs (artist trading cards) because the elements are usually about the right size for those. Sometimes the backgrounds can be adapted for ATCs too or bragbook pages. In general most tagger backgrounds are 800 x 800 pixels which is pretty small. But while full size scrap kits have established standards of size (12 inch square) and DPI (300 dpi), tagger kits have no established standards. Backgrounds are usually consistent in size but may be larger or a little smaller. The biggest problem is dpi. Some make kits at 72 dpi because tags are mostly used on-line but some create at 300 dpi. No one requires tagger designers to note what dpi their kits are created at or what size backgrounds and elements are. I recently purchased a tagger kit from a well known designer at a great price. The Victorian theme and colors would make for nice journal cards and ATCs and I might be able to use the elements on the small (approx 5 x 7 inch) journal pages I've been using. I started opening some of the backgrounds and found dpi of 300, 100, even 39 dpi. 39? Seriously? Why did she bother to include that? It's worthless! From the point of view of this consumer, I think scrapbook stores should require standards for tagger kits too or at least insist that the details be posted on the previews and/or in the descriptions. I'm not trying to be difficult. In the past, I've even run blog posts about ways one can stretch the use of tagger kits to help promote sales for friends who design and tag.

Day 7 of Chick Thing freebie

Had the 2 week staff meeting over at Heritage Hall and Dad was able to voice his comments and complaints. Fortunately, he also told them what they are doing right and complimented a couple staff members. Last couple of visits, he has seemed more himself and less grumpy. Thank heaven!

Chick Thing seems to be going over fairly well. The colors are not in my usual range so to me everything seems a little gaudy but I think in terms of the theme they are okay. The chickens are fun to do. They are adapted from embroidery and applique designs mostly.

Here is today's zip:
New chick tomorrow and she is outrageous. May have gone over the gaudy line with that one lol.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

More of Chick Thing freebie

Saw pulmonologist today and got good news. My lung function has improved greatly compared to February visit. Lung capacity went from 70% to 77%! Now I don't have to go back for six months unless I get bronchitis.
Low cloud cover here with nice breeze but humid. Going to make chicken and dumplings for dinner. Not because I really want that, just something different. At least my husband loves my chicken and dumplings, so he will be pleased.

Sometimes Chicks, like everyone else, display attitude. Something like this:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Another thing accomplished and more of Chick Thing freebie

Today I had an appointment with the funeral home to do a pre-paid funeral for my father. It's one thing you can do that is included in a Medicaid pay down. Not to mention that it locks in most of the price and sure makes it easier when the time comes that the service is needed. It was really quite easy as I had gathered all the information they would need. Also, the gentleman had pulled the records of my mother's funeral so I was able to say we wanted something similar. And now whenever Dad dies that part will be easier. Also arranged to have his home phone service transferred to his room at the nursing home and put 240 minutes on his cell phone to hold him (I hope) until the phone is connected on Monday.

On a cheerier note, here is part 5 of Chick Thing:
We do love receiving flowers, don't we? Roses may be cliche' but this chick (me, that is) loves them. Blush color is my favorite. I also love gardenias and the bush at my father's house was in bloom when I was there yesterday so I clipped a bunch. Took some in a bud vase to Dad today. And have a bunch in my living room. What a lovely smell. I'm going to try to root a piece to transplant into my yard. Had some success with that in the past but before I could plant it in the yard the plant failed.

Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Dad & freebie

First, thanks to all our brave service men and women - current and past. We honor you for your service.

Hubby is dozing between watching all the war movies on TV. I'm about to run to pharmacy before they close early today, then off to pick up Dad's phone set so I can call in to transfer his service tomorrow. He's gone through over 800 minutes on his cell phone! Have to pick up a Tracfone card for minutes to hold him until land line connected.

Today's zip of Chick Thing isn't real exciting but works with the rest:

Hope you are doing something fun today. I'm just going over to drop phone stuff off to Dad, then come home to do a little laundry and prepare for appointment with funeral home tomorrow.
P.S. Tomorrow's zip is more interesting.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Movies, mayhem, and freebie

We did get to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales yesterday. Got my fill of buttered popcorn, cherry Icee and 2 hours and 9 minutes of pirate adventure. Nice change of pace. Saw previews of new The Mummy with Tom Cruise and want to see it. John isn't interested and suggested I go with Red Hat friends when it comes out. Works for me. He has a date with granddaughter, Larkin, to see Captain Underpants when it comes out. I'll pass on that.

I'd planned to go see Dad today but instead I'm doing a little much needed picking up. Was just about to vacuum living room (a task I hate because it sets off fibro pain) when husband came in exhausted after spending morning help Larkin learn to ride her bike and then taking his daughter, Larkin, and Larkin's half-brother, Malachai, to lunch. He's flaked out in his recliner so I'm off the hook for vacuuming for a while. Have laundry going, dishes done, some clutter cleared and chemicals doing their thing in bathroom so it's a good time for a little break: some cream soda, barbecue chips and time to post zip 3 of Chick Thing.
This one is kind of a continuation of yesterday's zip.
I'm amazed to find that I have 8 zips ready to post! And at least another 4 in the works.

BTW no post tomorrow. Will start again on Monday. Hope you have a nice holiday weekend.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Chick Thing 2 freebie

Going to try to see the new Pirates movie today. Didn't get all that much done yesterday but did a few important things: finally got those Christmas decoration boxes that have been sitting in living room put away, did some laundry, called to check on refund from rehab center, and scheduled an appointment to arrange pre-paid funeral for Dad. Also got more done on kit. (That was the fun part.)

Here is today's part of Chick Thing:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Start of new free kit

Gloomy and overcast today. Haven't finished the new kit but will start putting pieces out here. It's called It's a Chick Thing (Chick Thing for short) and is meant to be whimsical and play on the use of "chick" for girl/woman. If that description sounds like mud, well, just wait and see. Today's zip won't tell you much:
The plan is is show "chicks" doing things we enjoy doing: dressing up, baking, being a mother, etc. Wondering what you all are going to think.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Touch of Color Emerald - freebie

Lots more paperwork for Dad today and refund from rehab center has not arrived. More Dad "business" calls to make tomorrow.

Here are elements for Touch Of Color- Emerald:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Another Monday and a freebie

My immune system is shot! Too much going on, I guess. Another shingles outbreak and it is painful. Then starting the antiviral upset my tummy too. Did not go see Dad over weekend and didn't make it today. Took some Tylenol for pain and napped. Must go over tomorrow for sure.

I did work on new kit a little over the weekend and it is taking some time doing the elements. No one had a guess based on the colors? Not much to go on. Would this sneak peek help?
Can you guess now?

Meanwhile, I have another Touch Of Color for you - this time Emerald:
Today the papers:

Friday, May 19, 2017

The elements for Touch Of Lavender

Dad fell again today! Actually, he slid out of bed. Tried to sit up on edge of bed to get into wheelchair (on his own, of course) but sat up on wrong side of bed and when he put his feet down, they slid out from under him. No injuries, thank heaven. While I was visiting, the maintenance people came in and put down non-skid strips on floor at each side of bed. Dad now has a tracking device on him too. Other than that, it was an easy visit.

Thank you all for your kind words of hope and support.

Here is the rest of Touch Of Lavender:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Another day and a freebie

Moving Dad to the nursing home went pretty smoothly all things considered. He was ready to go when we went to pack him up, had breakfasted and taken morning meds. While I settled up downstairs, my husband got most of the packing done. Temps in 90's so not much fun hauling things around but we made it as simple as possible. I found the room a little shabby but doubt dad really noticed. Got stuff put away and dietitian came in to discuss food preferences etc. Made sure she knew he's diabetic and has renal disease so he will get low sodium and low sugar meals. Lunch came in and dad actually enjoyed the ham, cabbage, cornbread etc. That's a plus. He seemed to expect us to stay all day but I just couldn't. I was overheated, dehydrating, and had only eaten cereal at breakfast. Left there about 2 pm, checked mail at his house, mailed bills, and popped into grocery for a couple things on way home. My husband had picked me up some pepperoni bread for late lunch and once I'd eaten and downed a lot of fluids, I took a 6 hour "nap."

When I woke up I learned Dad had called and accused my husband of taking his phone charger, insisting that he either left it on the bed at other facility or had it with him. Would not listen to John when he told him it was in the room somewhere, that I had put everything away when we got there. Then in background he could hear someone (an aide I'm sure) saying, "Here it is!" Dad didn't apologize or anything. this sort of thing happens more and more. He'd also piled a lot of requests on me before I'd left: needed something form pharmacy (ok will take tomorrow), wants to see eye doctor, wants to go to podiatrist, wants to go to barber to get hair (what there is) shampooed and cut. Won't use the beauty shop there. Wants to go by the house - something about some knives he has that I won't know where to find. Told him he couldn't bring them there and no one but me going in the house so why worry about it? Think he still has the idea someone is living there.

Here at home there is so much to catch up on. Lots of cleaning to be done in addition to the basics we have settled for doing during all this chaos. Sugar ants are here for warm weather so there is that to deal with. My own bills to pay. And lots of filing of papers, receipts etc for Dad. Wish I could wrinkle my nose like Samantha the witch and get the house cleaned, other chores done, and be able to relax! Coming up is our granddaughter's birthday, son's 1st wedding anniversary, and grandson's high school graduation. Always something.

Had hoped to give you something different tonight but will have to settle for offering another Touch Of Color pack:
Papers tonight:
Elements tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Today was . . .

in the 90's. Took Dad back to the dentist because he thought he had a couple more cavities. Dentist took x-rays and found no problems, smoothed a rough filling edge, and adjusted his partial plate. On way back to assisted living, dad wanted to know if we were going to stop for lunch but we got him back in time to have lunch in dining room. I checked in with administrator to let her know we are moving Dad tomorrow. She fiddled around on computer trying to get a final statement for me but couldn't. She will have a bill for me tomorrow and yes, they are going to charge for another month per the stupid contract I signed. Oh well, can't leave him there.

Have been dreading move tomorrow but Dad called a little before 9:00 p.m. and in talking to me asked if it is a nursing home he is moving to. Surprisingly, he didn't get upset when I told him yes, that doctor recommended it because he will need more care and also that his doctor will see him there. I added that we were able to get him a private room after all. All went smoothly, with him saying if he didn't like it, we could look further. Of course, tomorrow is likely to be another matter. Doing my best to Let go and Let God.

Started a little work on a new kit idea. Different colors than I usually pick and not vintage in theme. It's intended to be a whimsical kit. Here are the colors I'm working with:
Can you guess what it might be about?

IT's Wednesday alreadY? A freebie before bedtime

Today - that is yesterday really - was a busy one. We have a dear friend who is dying of pancreatic cancer and we went for a visit. Such a sweet woman, she will be missed. Next up, I got a call from the nursing home we are going to move Dad to. They have everything they need now and were calling to arrange a date of admission. A private room has just opened up so I didn't have to settle for semi private. This should make it easier to visit with him. Since he has a dental appointment today (yes, Wednesday), we agreed we would move him in on Thursday. I went over and paid for the rest of this month and signed a bed holder agreement. This way we are guaranteed the private room. Next I went over to see Dad. I arrived about 5:15 and did not find him in the dining room so went to his room. He was lying asleep on top of his covers. I tried to wake him so I could take him down to dinner. He opened one eye, then promptly closed it again. I tried to rouse him, mentioning it was dinner time. No luck. Figured one of the staff would be coming by to wake him up and take him downstairs. Not one staff member on the floor and after 20 minutes no one had come for him. Tried again to get Dad up so I could take him to dinner. He was determined to go back to sleep. Pulled the bell for help and after about 15 minutes the aide came in. She had been downstairs with the other people from Dad's floor and she was the only one available. She told me dad has been refusing the entree at dinnertime and having them bring him up sandwiches. Back to his old habits. I explained about coming in Friday and seeing him with grilled cheese sandwich and potato chips and how he was supposed to be watching sodium intake. Learned he had ordered another grilled cheese to be brought. Told her no, to bring him a turkey sandwich so he'd be getting some protein and less salt. She asked about the orange juice he had ordered and I had to tell her occasionally that is alright but if he consumes too much citrus or strawberry his mouth and throat break out in ulcers. More bad decisions on his part. Around 6:30 a staff member came up with sandwich, fruit bowl, and milk. A little after seven I gave up on waking Dad. He was breathing fine but sleeping soundly. He's been complaining of not sleeping at night. Apparently sleeping during day. I gave up and came home with headache and nausea.

Better now and heading in to get some Zzz's but do have a little something for you:
6 black papers and 11 elements.
With recent dropbox changes, hope this link will work.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Thank you!

Dear Kristi and Carlyn,

Your messages made my day! It's been a dreary day here. We've had rain several days now and temps dropped down into 50s. I was supposed to get up at 7:00a.m. and go with my husband to grandson Tyler's church for an indoor bake sale and rummage sale. Got up, wandered into kitchen and I decided I needed sleep more. Pain level and mental agitation have been up all week. I slept in until after one o'clock! My husband had gone on without me and came home with a pile of goodies, having spent under $20! He'd gone looking for DVDs to give to granddaughter Larkin on her upcoming birthday to go with the portable DVD player we got her. He found about 8 child friendly movies, a retired Precious Moments Christmas figurine (with original sticker price of $55 & new in box) for $2, and a tiny bisque Goebbels angel for 25 cents.

I'd just come in to play a few hands of solitaire when the phone rang and the day got darker. The daughter of one of my husband's former co-workers was calling to say that her mother, a sweet lady we both have affection for,is home under hospice care for end stage pancreatic cancer. Mother and daughter are very close, daughter has some severe health issues of her own, and now she is facing her mother's death with relatives who seem to think she isn't doing enough for her mother. We know she is doing as her mother wishes and I feel so bad for the daughter having the added stress of those relatives. Went through the same thing when my mother was dying. Dad and I abided by her wishes in the living will but her sister basically accused us of hastening her death by not taking more extreme measures - measures we knew Mom did not want. The death of a family member is always difficult but there always seems to be someone who refuses to believe your actions on that person's behalf are correct and adds to your pain.

At this point, let me say to Kristi that I am so very sorry to hear of your father's diagnosis. My father-in-law had this problem too only the Navy doctors kept telling him he had bursitis in the hip. When he was finally diagnosed correctly, he went to the Naval hospital and died next day. He was only in his mid fifties at that time. Be assured that I will remember you and your family in my prayers. May God have mercy and be gentle with your father as He calls him home.

Tonight my husband's retiree friends are having their monthly dinner meeting. He wanted me to go with him but in addition to all the discussion of old times at the company, John will need to tell everyone the news about Linda and urge anyone to wants to see her to visit in the next week. I wimped out and didn't go with him. Too depressing to think about so I opted for some quiet time to myself. Of course, I will go with him to visit after Mother's Day and offer Linda's daughter whatever help I can. Reminded me that I also need to make an appointment to set up a pre-paid funeral for my father this coming week. That will be one of the pay-down actions before filing for Medcaid and will also make things easier for me and Thom when dad does pass on.

I am so dreading moving Dad to the nursing home! And the conditions there, with semi private room etc. will make visits that much more difficult. But I spoke at length with my SIL last night. she has been through this with both of her parents and understands how hard it is. She assured me I was doing the right thing. My brother is still doing PT for his balance problem and when I told SIL what dad was diagnosed with, she made notes to discuss with Thom's doctor. Could he have the same problem? He continues to have a frontal headache that never goes below 5 on a pain scale of 1-10. Docs say it may always be there but they are giving him a weekly injection of some sort that is hoped will help. SIL says the injections end 5/31 and they hope to come back to Virginia the first part of June to see Dad and give John and I some time to ourselves.

The only other bit of news I have is good news. Tyler will be graduating form high school soon and has been accepted to the University of South Carolina where one of his friends will be his roommate.
The photo on left is Tyler with sister, Inara. I don't care for thescruffy beard. On right is Tyler without facial hair. Much better, I think.

Off to enjoy some left-over homemade manicotti (hubby is such a good cook!) After will be a little picking up as the house desperately needs it. Might get in a few minutes PS play time too.


Friday, May 12, 2017

News from my little corner & freebie

Once upon a time that seems so long ago, I was putting together a free digital scrapbook kit called Holiday Tea. I posted 7 zips but still had a bunch of elements left in the folder. If any of my former readers are still around, you know my father was in poor health and I was taking care of him. Trying to anyway. Dad had fallen so much that he required someone to be with him 24 hours a day. Guess who? My brother ( 8 years younger) and his wife live in Sarasota FL and both have health problems. But Thom, my brother came up from Florida to stay for awhile so I could get some rest. [You can skip the rest and move down to freebie. I'll understand.]

Unfortunately, things went downhill quickly. The very night Thom arrived, Dad, ignoring our insistence that he call us whenever he got up so we could watch out for him, headed down the hall using his walker and fell backward. Thom has such severe back pain that he has a pump implanted there to provide pain medication. No way he could lift Dad. He called the paramedics who checked Dad out (no obvious injuries) and put him to bed. Same night Dad wet the bed for the first time. Drenched it was more like it. I'd finally convinced him he had to wear Depends because he was losing bladder control but even that didn't make a difference.

It got worse. Bladder incontinence, soaking the bed during the night no matter what precautions we took, doing the exercises for Home Health only when the therapist was present, gaining more fluid, getting argumentative etc. Finally, on March 3rd, Thom got Dad up, gave him breakfast and dressed him so we could take him to see his cardiologist. Instead we ended up following the ambulance to the ER where Dad was diagnosed with a UTI, sepsis, and congestive heart failure! When he was released from the hospital, Dad went to a transitional care facility for physical and occupational therapy in hopes he would regain his strength. His blood sugar readings stayed high, his mental state continued to deteriorate, he remained weak and had more falls. Dad went from mild forgetfulness to having hallucinations at times and becoming mean at times. 7 weeks at that facility and we were all disturbed at the lack of communication, difficulty reaching the doctors and social workers. My brother went back home where he had a series of small strokes (he had one years ago) and is now in physical therapy.

I looked for a better place. I found an assisted living facility that could provide the care Dad needed and moved him in, thinking the better environment might be good for him. But when we reach the point where Medicaid would be needed, assisted living facilities don't qualify. The elder care attorney says I need to move Dad to a nursing home. Meanwhile, I changed his doctor because his previous doc waited for Dad to fall 5 times before calling in the Home Health therapists and didn't let me know Dad has stage 3 renal disease. That last very important because all we could get him to eat where the things that were the worst for him! The transitional care facility kept putting me off when I expressed concern over Dad's mental state and only got around to doing an EEG which showed brain damage of unspecified origin. Not helpful. The new primary care physician is a geriatric specialist. Following MRI's this week, he was able to tell us that Dad has a condition called Cerebral Small Blood Vessel Disease which has caused multiple small strokes. Small strokes will continue to happen. Those have caused balance problems which may end with Dad being unable to stand even for short periods. It has also resulted in dementia and mood disturbances. And boy have we seen some of those! There have been a number of days lately when Dad was absolutely nasty to my husband and I. The doctor recommended long term care at a nursing facility and I've applied to that.

The assisted living facility staff tried to pressure me yesterday when I presented a termination letter. They insisted Dad is doing better, they can provide the increased care he will need, and played with my emotions, knowing I want what is best for my father. Maybe they meant well, but I was having a bad pain day and felt they ambushed me - 3 against one. I told the nursing director I can't see any improvement and this is what his doctor recommended. Think on it, they said. Today when I stopped in to see Dad, instead of going down to the dining room for a healthy lunch, he was in bed, eating a grilled cheese sandwich and potato chips! Neither good for him. And before I left, he asked me to bring me cereal and milk, a bowl and spoon so if he felt his blood sugar was low in the middle of the night, he could eat cereal. He has fallen 13 times! Should not be getting up on his own and shouldn't be eating junk food.

On my way out, I spotted the executive director alone in her office and "ambushed" her. I told her that my father, whom they claimed was doing so much better was not. That he had come to think he could be independent there and do what he wants and was making bad decisions like eating things he shouldn't be and so on. I said I spoke with family last night and I will be moving him, just waiting on date from other facility. I have no doubt he's going to hate me for it. What he really wants is to go home, do whatever he likes but have someone to take care of things like fixing him the food he likes, changing his diaper and so on. I am not able to do it and he knows it. As it is, my health is suffering, my home is a disaster zone and I am not joking about that. 24 hour home care is out of our price range. And that is where things stand.

And now the last zip of Holiday Tea:

Hope to work up a little something every now & then for freebies but it isn't likely to be fukk kits for awhile.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sherry's nursing, light housekeeping. packing and moving plus freebies

I'll try to make it short. Wednesday Dad fell for 6th time and hubby, who had gone over to take him to doctor's appointment had to call paramedics. Paramedic convinced Dad to go to ER to be checked out. Spent 9 hours there while he got CT of head, spine, shoulder, and hip. Very busy so everything took long time. NP came back in and said she saw an "infusion" in his chest and he was wheezing slightly. Worried it might be pneumonia, we waited to get another CT of chest. You know how it goes - wait to get tests, wait for results. Blood work and urinalysis too, of course. Finally after 2 docs read last CT they decided not pneumonia so let us take him home. Husband spent night with him so I could come home and crash. Monday when home care nurse came in to check vitals etc, she called doctor with her opinion and called me too - very concerned. Then doctor called me. They said Dad isn't eating and drinking enough, is unsteady on his feet (no joke!) etc. etc. and that he should not be alone. Their opinion - he should move in with me and we should move in there. So helpful. No concern that I am handicapped and at 67 husband has serious health problems too. We could pay for nursing in home full time or he could sell his house and move into nursing home. Dad's mind is sharp and he won't have any of that. So now I am staying with him until we can work something else out. Fun when both his children are officially disabled, as is his DIL and SIL isn't healthy either. Brother can't come up until after 2/8. We were able to get our 18 yr old grandson to stay from 8pm last night to 6am this morning so I could come home and sleep. Grandson has school function today but will come back around 8 pm again to spend the night. We are paying him for elder sitting. BTW he has just gotten 2 acceptance letters for college.

No internet at Dad's so just able to post now while home.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Happy Monday! Freebie Time

First, a little news from home. On Saturday, Lisa and Cindy came to Dad's to clean. The plan was for them to clean while I took Dad out for lunch and then to see June. I'd loaded the car with a bunch of her clothes and things to deliver. Before we could leave the restaurant, Dad had a bout of diarrhea. That meant going back to the house so he could clean up and change clothes. By the time he did that it was pretty late and he was exhausted. I stayed until he was safely in bed resting. The girls did a great job cleaning up. I went by to pay them and then went back over to Dad's yesterday to bring some groceries, do 2 loads of laundry and put fresh linens on his bed. I asked him about bill paying, knowing he has been so fatigued to do much. We worked together on gathering and sorting the mail on his desk and he agreed to turn bill paying over to me until he is doing better. My name has been on his checking account for months now but we never had checks reprinted with my name and I worried that some companies might question why I was signing his checks. Went to bank today to make deposit for him and got new (free) checks ordered that will have my name on them too. The manager said no problem with me signing the ones we have right now because they have me listed and have my signature card. Also got myself an ATM card. Dad won't mess with ATMs but it will be easier for me to get cash for him this way instead of writing a check and standing in line. Now I can look at the account on-line too. Daddy stuff done, I came home and made a chicken potpie with leftover chicken.

Tomorrow Home Health is sending a physical therapist out at 3:00 p.m. so I'll go over to meet him and see what he will be doing for Dad. Plans are going forward. Now to see how much improvement can be made in Dad's condition.

Today we have zip 5 of Holiday Tea:

*** BTW - my Dropbox was full and no longer syncing so I had to delete 2016 links.

Kristi, thank you for informative links. My brother and I are looking into all avenues at this time.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday freebie

Yesterday Home care came out to evaluate Dad. The nurse questioned his meds and is going to talk to doctor because of those blood pressure meds. She checked BP when Dad was sitting and again after he stood and found BP dropped 10 points uppon standing. He definitely needs physical therapy to get strength back. after talking with me, she also is going to ask for approval to have an aide come out 2x/wk to help Dad safely get into and out of shower, check to see that he is eating and staying hydrated and check his blood sugar since dosage has been adjusted. He was amazingly cooperative. Nurse had no sooner left than the neighbor I called about cleaning came over. We have a plan. I'm to take Dad out to lunch and maybe to see Miss June and Lisa and her sister, Cindy, will clean up the house: scrub all floors, vacuum, clean bathrooms and kitchen. Happily, Lisa was not shocked at the condition of things. Said her father had been much the same way about being stubborn and insisting he could care for himself and being messy. It's going to cost $100 for this major clean up but I think it is worth it. After this, Dad will be able to call on them as needed. Believe me, I will stay behind him on this. He's worried about money and I've suggested that we sit down and set up a budget and, for now at least, let me handle his checkbook and bill payments. (His handwriting has become so shakey.) And when nurse asked him if he had advance medical directive and durable power of attory and he said, yes, she pinned him down to be specific. Turns out he has both. I know about the medical directive but not that he has given me power of attorney. I'm going to need copies in case it comes to me making decisions for him. All in all, I cam home relieved and crashed for about 4 hours.

I've decided, for now at least, to limit blog posts to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I plan to get back to Wacky Wednesdays too as it is a good way to share whatever I find time to play with. I am very appreciative of your kind comments in support at this trying time. And Krist, sure hope your husband quickly recovers from his little accident.

Here is today's zip of Holiday Tea:

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mid Week, Caregiver News & Freebie

A few things have been set in motion. Home Care is scheduled to contact Dad for evaluation. Doctor is going over all his meds to see what might be changed. He started Lexapro today for depression. And I contacted one of his neighbors who does housecleaning. She was so good to my mother when Mom was battling cancer and we trust her. She totally understood the situation with Dad having gone through much the same with her father whose disposition was similar. We will meet tomorrow to consider the extent of cleaning etc needed and come up with a plan to get things done. I felt better after talking to her. Meanwhile, my brother is doing some internet research about assisted living in the area and contacting places for prices.

My dear husband realized I neede to just crash today so he canceled dinner with his daughter and grand-daughter and instead is taking them some lasagna to eat at their apartment. Told me to remain in my robe, take it easy, and try to get my mind off of things. Easier said than done. But I sure appreciate it.

Here is your next zip of Holiday Tea:

No post tomorrow as it is going to be a rough day. Will post again on Friday.

Back again with freebie

Yesterday was grueling. We were unable to wake dad by phone for his appointment so had to go over to get him up. Took Dad to doctor and discussed all that has been going on. She said it was time to get Home Health involved, see if they could do some physical therapy to help him regain strength. So we will be called by end of week and someone will come out to evaluate him. Doctor also suggested starting him on a mild antidepressant; he will try 110 mg of Lexapro. There is some concern that the combination of doctors he has may have him on too many blood pressure medications. Dad went over his med list with the doctor and she asked me to verify it when we got home in case any thing had changed and Dad had forgotten to update. So once we got him some breakfast, we went back to the house and I tracked down all the meds. Morning stuff was on dining room table so he can take it with breakfast so that was all fine. He sent me to the bathroom cabinet in his bedroom to check the evening meds. What a disgusting mess! I've been after him to hire someone to come in and clean because I can't do it, and he has resisted claiming it costs too much. I sort of lost it and told him we cannot have him living in a house that is so dirty and he must get cleaning help. I reminded him that with my health problems, I can't keep it all up even though I wish I could. We sort of went around about it but I insisted so tomorrow I have to call someone, get her to come out and evaluate how bad it is (very) and what the price will be to get things back in shape and then follow-up on regular basis. I also informed him that my brother is coming up to stay with him for awhile until he gets back onhis feet. Not that thom can do much more than watch him and keep him company. Thom has been disabled longer than I have, his due to a serious back injury and surgeries that did not go well.

Came home exhausted and crashed for a few hours. Then my brother and I talked for for a couple hours. I was grateful to hubby for running dinner to Dad and making dinner for us. All I managed to do was clean out dishwasher and reload. This is a chaotic time!

However, I do have some more of Holiday Tea for you:

I apologize for being so erratic and will try to work up some plan to do things on regular basis again but it is unlikely to be everyday.

*** Thanks to all for being so supportive!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Where I am & start of new free kit

We had a Blizzard Warning last Friday - something that doesn't happen around here. Some of the local area got as much as 12 inches of snow! I live on a main road, one that heads into the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story ( a base that combines Navy, Marine, and Army forces) so city snow plws came through multiple times, pushing the snow and ice up against our vechicles that were parked on the shoulder of the road and across the end of the driveway. Secondary roads didn't get plowed at all with the result that everything stopped. Offices and schools were closed (many didn't open until 1/12) and the military only required essential personnel to try to get in.

Hubby and I were fine. I'd gone to the grocery ealry on Friday to pick up some essentials and set about making cold weather comfort food to get us through: chili, split pea soup (with Christmas ham bone), etc. When bread got low, I pulled out a loaf of frozen bread dough and baked that. We worried about Dad because we couldn't get out to go to him if needed, but he did alright.
He'd woken up Sunday morning to find his heater not working properly but got hold of the company he's dealt with for years and they came out and rigged up a bypass to get heat flowing until they ordered a replacement part. And he does have a gas fireplace he can use at times like that. Fortunately, he had on hand some sandwich supplies and a TV dinner, so he made out okay.
Tuesday, my husband was able to get out the new car which has four wheel drive and made it up the street to the grocery yesterday for a couple things we needed. But store and other parking lots are not cleared and the side streets still impassible. Local weathermen are saying we are going to get a major warm up to about 60 degrees by the end of the week! Local area quick care places will be full of people who get sick with all this temperature flucuation.

I'm not wanting to do anything - just hibernate. Haven't even finished putting the Christmas decorations away. 2017 isn't starting out so well. Last I spoke with my son, he and his wife were still sick and having to work through it. My son's stepmother lost her father not long after Christmas. Learned my brother had a second stroke Christmas week while his wife was away. He didn't go to the hospital because he didn't want to leave his new (rescued) dog alone and because, he said, they couldn't do anything for him anyway. My husband's tests didn't go well. Doctor wasn't able to complete them and hubby says he isn't going through any more prep and isn't going to allow any extreme measures. With Dad continuing to slowly decline, I'm getting pressure from some family members to get him into an assisted living facility. They mean well but don't seem to understand I don't have power-of-attorney and since he is of sound mind, he makes his own decisions.

So much for the whining. I'm really unhappy with myself that I do that as if it really explains what I do or don't do. I have been working on a Holiday Tea kit for January but I'm not all that happy about it. I guess I'll start giving you what I have tomorrow after I get back from my doctor. Have been thinking that I might want to go to one post a week so I don't feel like I'm neglecting other things to play with Photoshop. Don't know yet.

I wrote the above section on Wednesday and here it is Saturday already! Thursday I didn't get around to posting, planning to do it that night after doing a few things. But my father fell again. I'd taken groceries over on Wednesday and he seemed okay. Planned to go over Thursday and do a few things but had bad headache so it was around 5:30 when hubby called to check on him and got answering machine. No surprise as he often can't get to the phone quickly, is sleeping without hearing aid, or talking to June. About 30 minutes later just as we were getting ready to call again, Dad called just to say, "I need help." When we opened the door, there was blood on the entryway floor and he was over at the end of the sofa where the phone was, on his knees, bent over the sofa. He had left his chair about 2 hours (!) previously with mug in hand, planning to drop it off in kitchen before heading down the hall. Said he had reached the linoleum entryway and suddenly knew he was going to fall and hit the floor. His right eye was blackened, nose scraped and nose had been bleeding. He said he laid there, wishing he'd kept his cell phone with him like he'd been doing but it was on the dining room table and he knew he couldn't reach it. So he crawled over to the wireless phone by the sofa. Where he was positioned, there was no way we could safely get him up so I called paramedics. They checked him out well, saw no signs of concussion and even ran an EKG which read normal. But they told him so many falls is Not normal. Since I don't have power-of-attorney, I could not insist he go to the ER for further check. There's more but that's the gist of it. He doesn't want one of those call button thing because he doesn't want paramedics breaking down the door. Won't move in with us or let me stay there with him. I'm at my wits end. Every night as soon as I cut off the light thinking I'm going to sleep, I start worrying about him. Do it during day too but this means I sleep about 15 minutes and wake up and have to get to sleep all over again. Spoke with my brother and his wife yesterday to let them know update. SIL went through much with her parents and gave some advice and offered to come up and give us a break but Dad really wouldn't like her staying with him. Anyway, that is what is going on here.

We did get that warmup and snow is gone but it has now turned cold again and by Sunday we may have a mix of rain, sleet, and snow. Oh joy.

Here is a little of Holiday Tea: