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.