Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Mid week and freebie

Wednesday already and I haven't accomplished much this week. Packed up some of Dad's clothes to take to a disabled man who can use them. Sent in check with request to add death date to my parent's monument. Contacted supplemental insurance plan to notify them of death. Settled (?) things with Thom. Made some borders for Saturday post. Tomorrow have doctor's appointment and then appointment to show Dad's house.

And today, we are back to elements:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

First zip of papers today. Only one preview for both zips.

For ongoing news of the situation here, see below. Most of you will probably prefer to skip the family drama, and I don't blame you. I do need to vent though, and you all have been so supportive. Thank you.

Whenever I experience intense emotions I almost invariabley cry. It's not just sorrow or anger but even intense joy. I so dislike this! So yesterday evening when my brother called, I tried my best to be calm and level when I answered the phone. "Are you upset with me?" he asked. I took a deep breath and told him I certainly was. That it was a lot of built up little things but the last straw had been him insulting me following visit to attorney. What could I mean? I said he'd inferred I was a racist. Of course, he replied he'd never said that. No, he hadn't used the word, "racist" but he might as well have and I told him what he'd said. You see, after the funeral when some of us were talking I'd mentioned an odd dream I'd had in which a black man with dread locks was roaming around my back yard and he took offense. Told me, "I have a black son." Yes, he does, a man he adopted as a baby after fostering him through Catholic Family Services. I asked him if he'd still be offended if I'd said there was a strange white man with a red beard roaming around my backyard, because the word "black" in my comment was just an adjective and nothing more. The point was the man in my dream did not belong in my backyard. Well he doesn't like it, he tells me and he has a right to state what he feels. Sure, I agree, but his tone and expression . . . I told him whether he likes it or not, people are still described as black or white, however inadequate that may be. And those dark skinned people of Afro_American descent I know do not object to being called "black." What they do dislike, I informed him, is when they are referred to, in describing the color of their skin, in food terms - like coffee, cinnamon, chocolate. Personally, if I were not "white" but "black," I wouldn't mind someone describing me as having milk chocolate skin. Chocolate is pretty universally loved. Anyway, I went on to tell him that he had acted judgemental and he doesn't know how I live my life. If he did, he'd know that I personally believe "race" is a social construct to explain obvious differences in appearance - a construct that has done more harm than good. Now, ethnicity, is another matter as it refers to a culture in which one is raised.

And then I proceeded to tell my brother how he keeps changing his mind about things, and had talked me out of having an estate sale. How he said he didn't have time to go through all of Dad's tools but would take them to Florida to sort out, keep some things he wanted, then sell the rest to help with Dad's care. He hasn't sold anything that I know of and I suggested that now that Dad is gone, he won't. He says he is going to use them. He had also taken Mom's pearls and diamond 50th anniversary ring, saying he would get them appraised and sell them but hasn't done so.

Went on to remind him how when we needed to put the house up for sale because of Medicaid application, he and his wife said they were going to clean out the house to help me. But now, he'd said he should be compensated because I'd have had to pay someone to do it. No, my neice and her sorority were going to help me when it came to that. And bear in mind that he and his wife didn't have the expense of a hotel as they stayed at the house during their visits. And wasn't all the loot he'd collected compensation enough? He acted shocked, saying he knows he asked me several times if it was alright that he have thus and so. To some extent yes. I told him, early in the conversation, that I feel he has mistaken my kindness [read that bending over backwards] for weakness and warned that is a bad assumption to make. I also informed him that living out of state, Virginia does not recognize him as executor, only me, letting him know I have ultimate authority. Then, to forestall it coming up later, I informed him that if he is fielding calls about selling the house, and just having me show it, with the thought that he will get a real estate commission, that will not be happening. Oh no, he claimed, saying he thought it would relieve me of some stress. Thom did apologize for hurting me and swore he loves me. I'm ashamed to say, I still have my doubts. I do love my brother but it's mostly based on early, happier memories, not because he's bothered to stay in touch over the years, in fact was resistant to do so for some time. I do however, not love all of his behavior and made the suggestion that he needs to widen his perspective as he seems to be holding a lot of anger and hatred inside. He didn't deny this but says it is not directed towards me. So, I'll go show the house Thursday and as for Thom, I'll pray he learns to release the anger and hatred before it eats him up, and choose love instead.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Wine & Roses freebie begins

I didn't get an over all preview done but there is a preview for each zip. at present that will be 2 zips of papers, 2 zips of elements, and one of overlays. I hope to put together a zip for Saturday which might be clusters, borders, templates - not sure which. Today let's start with some elements.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Thank you and update

I truly appreciate each and every expression of sympathy from you, my readers. It's a difficult time still. We allowed time for out-of-state family members to travel and be here for my father's funeral, so held a one day viewing on 2/16 and a simple graveside service on 2/17. The day of the funeral was bitterly cold. After the funeral, family met at Dad's house. Had it been left to my brother, there would have been no gathering at all. Originally, I'd planned to have the gathering at my home but following my father's passing, I was exhausted emotionally as well as physically and just couldn't pull together enough energy to clean the house for company. That probably sounds strange, but I've had to let so much of my own housekeeping go because of more important matters like caring for and being with my father in his last days. Plus I have tons of paper work and some of his personal effects cluttering up living areas. My brother and his wife were staying in Dad's house once they arrived and having cleared out most of the house on their last visit, there was plenty of space in good order. My SIL assured me it would be no problem but stressed I should keep it simple. I purchased refreshments which they only had to set out. There were only 8 of us who came back to the house, not some big crowd. My brother and, to some extent his wife, were cold to my husband and me. We put it off to Thom taking things hard and wanting to be alone.

Things went downhill from there until on Tuesday when my brother and I went to the attorney to discuss final matters. On the way home, my brother insulted me which was the last straw. I am grieving for my father and my brother has been highly critical of me. I could say a whole lot more about the matter but the total of his behavior, lies, and greed has been disturbing my peace for days now. So I'm going to insert a few quotes here which will pretty much tell you where my thinking is.

To sum up, I am hurt and terribly disappointed in Thom. Dad's house is now in both our names and I suspect that once it is sold and Thom has gotten all he can, I may not hear from him again. This should come as no surprise despite his recent protests and proclamations that he loves me. He has never been good about trying to stay in touch. Once my usefulness is over, I suspect as far as he is concerned so is our relationship.

Now if you've hung in there through all my complaining, I can tell you that I had previously put together enough pieces of one of the color schemes I was exploring for a Valentine's kit that I have now gotten it all together and will be posting it this week. It's called Wine & Roses and is pretty traditional. I'd also wanted to do a kit in lavender and pinks but that will have to come later. Come back tomorrow for the kit.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

My father passed away this morning.

PS I should add that my brother and SIL apologized for upsetting me and said they knew I was doing the best I could. They will arrive tomorrow.

Update on my father

Doesn't look like I'll be doing any design and posting this week. Got call early yesterday from Nurse practitioner at nursing home. The blood work done at the hospital came back. They had taken 4 vials of blood for testing and two showed bacteria. One might be a mistake - contamination of some sort but two, no. No idea of where the bacterial infection is and to learn more would require more testing. Considering all the other signs and symptoms, it is likely Dad is going into sepsis and does not have long to live.

I called my brother to let him know and he seemed okay with what is being done except for some worries about oain. Not long after my SIL called, and while I believe she meant well, upset me. She talked about her experience with her mother and needing to put Dad in hospice and how once he was in that everything would be paid for etc. Last week I was told he didn't qualify for hospice and I said I wasn't sure of what the qualifications are and wondered if he would met them since there is no specific diagnosis and nothing to say he has less than six months to live (the only part of qualifications I was aware of). She was pretty insistent that I needed to find out (this was around 4pm) and needed to move Dad somewhere where everything was paid for. Towards the end of the conversation I was confused and upset and felt there was too much emphasis on getting free care.

After I got away from SIL, I called social worker at nursing home. She had been in to check on Dad in the morning and with her 20 yrs experience said it was definitely a downward spiral and likely to be quick. I asked her about hospice and she said at this point he does qualify. I told her what SIL had related and she responded by saying that all hospice in Virginia is now done out of nursing home centers. Hopsice staff comes in and works with social worker and nursing at home. Hospice is in charge during the day and nursing at home during night. No insurance will pay for room and board, just nursing care and meds. She offered to talk to my brother.

So I called them back. Never got a chance to say they could call social worker. Explained what I'd been told. They were both on speaker and said that wasn't right, that Sentara (a big hospital and healthcare company here) has a special hospice center out in Virginia Beach. I should . . . .I kind of lost it a little and told them that if expense is the concern, Sentara room and board is probably going to be more expensive, and I don't care how much of Dad's money I spend on his care, just think staff where he is knows him and it's all familiar to him. Oh no, they said. They think since one nurse made an error, he isn't getting good care and are sure it is going to be so much better somewhere else. Since I was riled up, they said they would call and check on that hospice center and get back to me. I agreed, telling them I was strung out at this point. No word yet.

Here is what I've decided. My brother can't get his pump refilled until 4pm today. They don't have a flight yet and said something about Friday. So if I don't hear from them before I head over to nursing home in early afternoon (won't have transportation until then) and they don't have some momentous plan that is going to be an improvement and quickly done, then I'm making a decision. And my decision is to call in hospice right where he is because those people seem to care about him and I don't want to wait to have his pain managed. If my brother doesn't like my decision, oh well. I'm the one here who's had to deal with everything. Once they do get here, I don't think there will be any reason to do something different if Dad is still lingering.

Just needed to get this out and also let you know I will be back with goodies for you. Just don't know when.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday news - last Snow Queen freebie & news of Dad

I forgot to post last Snow Queen zip yesterday. It's just another page template:

Had 2 nightmares last night. Was waking up from 2nd when my husband came in to tell me Heritage Hall called about Dad. When the nurse went in to check his vitals, his pulse was only 31, his blood pressure was real low and he was unresponsive . She called for an ambulance and was having him transported to the nearest Emergency Department. I got dressed, grabbed a quick bowl of cereal and my husband took me over to hospital. There was confusion in records about whether or not he was DNR and DNI - he is. He'd been given a heart med in ambulance, was on oxygen, then a nebulizer, a "Bear Hug" for warmth (his temp was low), all sorts of things. Still unresponsive for most part. Lots of blood drawn during which he appeared uncomfortable. Cardio was called in. Talk of pace maker surgery but I said no. Going to admit to ICU once a bed was available. Confusing mess. Finally one of the ER docs spent more time with me and when I was telling him what nurse practitioner had said about her finds last week and mentioned Comfort Care, the doc stopped cold. He's supposed to be on Comfort Care? Dad should not have been sent to ER, should not have been put through blood draws, poking and prodding, heart drugs to regulate rhythm and increase blood pressure, not even heating blanket. Turns out it was a new nurse at nursing home, not aware of Dad's status. She freaked out and had ambulance on the way before the nursing desk told her he was supposed to be on Comfort Care. Nothing to do once ambulance was on way but go with it. After about 6 hours in ER, with all equipment but catheter removed, Dad was transported back to nursing home to his familiar room and settled in. I spoke with nurse on desk who apologized for error and assured me the records were correct there and orders would be followed. My blood sugar was dropping since I'd had nothing but a soda while at hospital. I kissed Daddy and told him I'd be back in the morning. Not that he heard me, but still. Husband insisted I come home and get a meal, call my brother, then relax and try to get to sleep so that's what is up next. I may not post tomorrow depending on how things are going. I'm sure you understand.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Nearing the end of Snow Queen freebie

Still feeling a bit rough so short post. Today we have the next to last zip of Snow Queen. You will find one paper, a border, and some elements, including my little snow fairy, Flurrie.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Spring like day and more Snow Queen freebie

Having a bad fibro day but went to the nursing home to check on Dad and try to catch up with the social worker. No luck catching Ms. Bishop and Dad slept all but a few minutes of the nearly 3 hours I sat with him. Finished up a crochet hat I'd started last night while I sat there. Going to take it easy rest of tonight and hope to be in better shape tomorrow.

Today's zip of Snow Queen: