Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Greetings from El Reno

I have been in El Reno, Oklahoma for seven days taking care of things for my mom, who is in the skilled nursing facility for awhile. She is doing much better, but not well enough yet to live alone in her house, even with visiting nurses. She is well enough that she wants to write her own letters, read her mail, take care of "business" and paperwork, AND she is mad today at the therapist who gave her questions to answer about presidents and capitols of states, and things she said were "third grade stuff". She has a bone to pick with them about several things. She wants juice with her pills and will NOT accept water. I say? I say, "give 'em hell, ma." She is funny, cute, smart, determined, and practices standing straight and decided that one doesn't have to lean over the walker to walk, but can just touch it a little for a assistance. She is one wonderful lady.

The weather is 80. I enjoy it while I'm driving my brand new Buick Lacerne (s?)which is about as close to a Lincoln as I can imagine. I have decided that you know you are in a small town with you get to your destination before the seat belt alert starts ringing. My mom is blocks from her home, her church, and Wal Mart, and one block from her doctor's office and the hospital. Amazing. My cousin Gene from Minnesota was visiting here for two days, happened to come to see mom and found me here instead. We had two lovely dinners out and I really enjoyed the company. He helped me buy a new stove for mom's house so we won't have to use matches and gas ever again. Thank God. Lots of steps forward we have taken since January when she was sick in the hospital!

I am on first name basis with the clerks at Wal Mart while I lay in supplies into my mom's drawers. I will be back in a month. She misses me already. And I wish I didn't have to go home tomorrow morning at dawn. But I do. Life must go on.

Have a great day!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Buffalo Bill at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City Posted by Picasa

Cold to Warm

On Wednesday morning I leave for Oklahoma to visit my mom in the skilled nursing facility. It has been really hard emotionally for me to handle the fact that she is there, and I am constantly concerned about her care there. I know they do their best, but "nursing homes" as they are called, are just not good places to be. I was very sad to have to see her there.

While I am in Oklahoma, we are selling a house that she owns and it is my job to go to the close and handle the business end of it. I'm just hoping that all turns out okay. I am a little nervous about this trip and don't know why exactly. I hope that I get to visit with mom a lot, get her more clothes if she needs them, get her errands done and still find some time to rest myself. I may find out when she will be able to return home, and will schedule a time to meet with her doctor. The last trip, when she was in the hospital, was much harder than this will be, so I am hoping to have some time to relax a little.

One thing I will not miss is the cold weather we have had this weekend in Boston. The house seems drafty, and I am just plain cold! I realized going out to the car tonight, that my whole body hurts with the cold. It will not be nearly so cold in Oklahoma, so I am looking forward to that.

George and I have had a good time this week watching the Olympics and I will be sorry when they are over. Seeing all those snow sports in such a cold country as the Italian Alps makes me shiver. Right now, I'm routing for SPRING!

Have a great day.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Dell Inspiron 6000 Posted by Picasa

My New Laptop!

Wow. I can't be happier about this. For three days last week, I surfed and researched and talked and talked some more. I decided I really wanted a new laptop so I could stay connected even when I am away from home. I looked at all kinds of models, and started thinking of a low-budget one, priced about $500. Ha! It wasn't long before I was throwing around gigs with the best of them, and on Friday I called Dell for the fourth time, and ordered a new Inspiron 6000 Notebook with extra memory (1Gb), extra big hard drive (60GB), extra special screen resolution (WUXGA 1,900x1,200 native resolution), and the 3 year warrantee on everything, including damage by dropping or spilling--egads!

It is a beautiful thing and I can't wait to get it. I decided NOT to force the issue by paying extra for next day delivery, so I will not have it for my trip on Wednesday to Oklahoma, but that is ok. I was watching the ca-ching of the register, and as it was, all my extras added up to more than I thought I was going to spend. Somehow, from the barebones prices quoted on my first call to the amount I ended up with---well you wouldn't know it was the same system! I told the salesman on the phone that I had learned a lot in two days of laptop shopping, and I was spinning off the terms with the best of them by our final conversation. Then it was just a matter of spinning off the numbers on my credit card and...voila, a new, beautiful, silver and white, fast and powerful laptop computer on its way!

I can't wait. Besides all the plans I have to keep better records, maybe write a book, play some games, watch DVDs, listen to music, keep up with Ebay sales and being able to email on the road,...I just plain love the looks of this one. I also bought a pretty red quilted bag to carry it it.

Oh, this is nice! I'm excited, and it feels really good!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dave's flowers Posted by Picasa

The Storm

George and I survived the storm. Actually, survived is about the right word, since I came down with a flu-like symptom that I thought was food poisoning, but then had the same symptoms at work on Tuesday and had to leave early. It makes me dizzy, with headaches, and stomach grumbles and just general malaise. I'm sitting it out at home today and hope to be better soon!

My friend Dave died of lung cancer on Sunday. He had fought a gallant battle for almost two years, and had learned how to ask for help in getting to his hospital and doctor visits. He was an accountant, and every bit of his skills were needed to keep up with medicare payments, pharmacy charges and insurance billing. He even had to fight to keep his apartment and get reduced rent rates. Even though you get very sick, and have to deal with the sad facts, they don't make it any easier on you.

He was a lovely, dignified man, and we enjoyed having him here for Christmas Dinner. He was my "coffee buddy" at work, and we had a lot of fun and many laughs. He was a great supporter of my Ebay efforts and never seemed to tire of my talking about sales and jewelry, even though he had probably little interest in such things. He was just great, a really good friend, and I am going to miss him.

The picture here is of flowers that he sent to my home in appreciate for rides to the Doctors offices, since Dave lived alone, and did not drive a car. God Bless You Dave!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Nor'Easter Rolls In

All day yesterday, as we heard the weather forecast for a blizzard today, George and I thought that we could still get to church today. I studied my Sunday School teachers book, and prepared the lesson. Today is a different story. The snow is blowing sideways, and the forecast is for the heavier snow to come about noon today, and pile up to 12 inches. That isn't exactly something I want to be driving in on the highway today. So, we decided to stay home. Church is probably going to be canceled, like many others, but we haven't seen it on the list of closings yet.

I talked to my mother last night at the living center, and she sounded fine, although not exactly "with it". She is tired, and seems ready to lie down most of the time. She said she watches TV a little bit. She said she is a lot stronger, so that is very good news.

George and I are facing another postponement of the church Hearts Party, because we scheduled it on a day when someone else had dibs on the fellowship hall. So I have to straighten that mess out by email tomorrow.

Seems like a good day to go back to bed.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 10, 2006

A conversation with my Mom

This blog might turn into a conversation about my mother and her recovery from pneumonia, but that is what I am thinking about, so that is what I talk about. I was able to have them bring her to the phone in the library of the nursing center last night, and I called promptly at 6 p.m. I hear "Hello!". It is my mom's strong voice. I was much relieved! She said that they never seem to run out of fruit cocktail, that they have that at almost every meal; that she had a delicious root beer float that afternoon; that she has almost too many visitors; that she walks crooked and they don't know why; that she had a nice bubble bath--all good things.

When I left Oklahoma, my mom and I said a prayer together, in which we said that we would ask for help finding the "good" in this place, and not concentrate on the "bad". I was very concerned about my mom losing interest or becoming depressed. She has had such a busy and full life in her own home. She said, "Did you hear about the nurse?" I said "no." Mom said that she ran into a nurse who refused her the juice she wants to take her pills, and she held her ground and refused to take the pills without it. The nurse got a supervisor, who brought the juice. Mom won. Hurray for mom!

Mike sent a big basket of flowers which made quite an impression. They are bright orange, pink and red carnations, a flower my mom likes because they don't die fast. I happen to be allergic to lilies and once was almost brought down by a bouquet of lilies that someone sent to my room when I was recovering from surgery. So, carnations seem to be the best choice to us. Thanks to Mike, mom has a really bright spot in her room. They also brought in a TV. Mom said the "man" came to ask if she wanted a TV, and she responded, "Well, I'd like to watch the news!". She is so alert and savvy for 96, it is not hard to see why I'm just crazy about her. The book she was reading when she got sick was the biography of Winston Churchill that Mike gave her at Christmas. She made a grand slam at the bridge table three weeks ago at the senior center. She is an amazing woman. I love her so much.

So, that is it from the homefront today. A big snowstorm heading for Boston this Saturday, so we postponed the Hearts (card game) Party at church for a week. I'm planning a quiet weekend of making jewelry and enjoying some creative moments.

Have a great day.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Catch Up

I leave again for Oklahoma to see my mom on February 22 for a week. I am counting the days and she is too. I haven't been able to talk to her, since they have to bring her to a phone, and her condition is such that she sleeps, rests, eats, and has her physical therapy. Phone time isn't included in her schedule I'm afraid. It is worrying and I am trying hard to find a place in my life where I can leave my worries behind. My friend said that when she took care of her aging parents, she found that the prayer and humor got her through. I will remember hugging my mom when she was holding a banana, and getting banana all over my glasses. That was a laugh we both shared.

In the meantime, I catch up with work, with bill paying, with house keeping, with jewelry making, and all the other aspects of life which are there--no matter what. Anyone know any good jokes?

Have a great day.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I just returned from Oklahoma where I spent five days at Mercy Hospital with my mother, who has pneumonia and had two heart episodes brought on by lack of potassium--a very dangerous situation indeed. She was transferred to a skilled nursing facility near her home, and I was without the internet while I was visiting her there. She is better. Neither of us was happy about her living in a facility for the time being, and both of us shed tears. But we lived through it, and her job is to work with the physical and speech therapists for two weeks and then I will go back to spend another week with her. Letting go and letting someone else take care of her was very hard for me. I hope and pray that she will be ok.

Living with the internet was almost impossible for me. If I have any "free" time, I like to commune with my friends on Ebay, and check my listings, etc. Not having any email or access made me feel very cut off. George and I are shopping for laptops so that won't happen again.

The weather is lovely and sunny in Oklahoma. The problem there is lack of rain. The grass is dry, the weather is dry, and there is no rain in the forecast. The farmers are hauling hay to the fields for the cattle and we saw many trucks with hay bales on the back. It is a disaster there if they don't get rain soon. And fire is a real threat. No smoking outside any facilities or stores, with signs of High Fire Alert all over the place.

I am home, where I hope to get a home-cooked meal for the first time in 9 days, and get a little rest as well as catch up with things at work.

Have a great day.