Saturday, August 30, 2008

Let me show you how it's done...

"Hey, Bushytail, I'll get him as he comes around the bend! We'll show that pesty guy who's been hounding us just what it feels like"

Awww come on Nutkins, no way are you going to get a good shot that way, you need to use a tripod or the picture will be blury just like his are of us.


DANG, he must have turned the bend just as we took the picture.

That's ok, we won't miss him again.


Well, shoot, I could have sworn he was sitting there a split second ago. He moves faster than we thought.

We need to go about this smarter. Let's zoom in more.

We'll sneak into his house just like he does ours...

Where'd he go????
There's his shoes, but he looks different than I remember him...

Ok, now for zooming in. Here we go....


"Psst Fuzzy, a hostage OCHA..." And what's up with those feet?

"I don't know Nutkins, should we report him to the OCHA Patrol?"

"Dang it Bushy! You bumped my lil munchkn paw and all I got was his feet. But, we're getting closer. At least he was inside those shoes this time."

"Remember, Nutkins- ZOOM - in.
Nobody is going to believe us if we don't get a close up of the pest!"


Awwww mannnnnn! I got his fingers. It looks like he is harassing birds, too. What a jerk.

We are running out of time here. We are going to be known as Bushytail who got Nutkins. One more shot. We cannot fail this time.


Sigh. A cicada? How are we supposed to get a picture of this guy when all he does is harass OCHAS, animals and insects? I think we need to report him to the OCHA Society of Cruelty to All Things Orange, Fuzzy, Flying, or Buzzing.


Maybe we'll have better luck tomorrow... You can run pesty man, but you can't hide...

Hope everyone has a good Labor Day


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ed.... Don't Leave Me...

Ed! Don't leave me!!!! These words will echo in my mind for a very long time.
We admitted my mom to a nursing home today. She did not do well. Her screams could be heard throughout the building. When dad told her "he'd be back soon", I was the one closest to her. As he walked away, she found the strength to stand and start running after him. I was the only one close enough to hold her back as she yelled at the top of her worn out lungs, "Ed! Don't leave me!". I didn't know it could be so hard to hang on to a worn out 77 lb woman. But I did.
We have a St. Catherine at the home. She comforted all of us. She has called me 3 times to assure me mom is doing ok. I have gone there to "spy" on mom 3 times. Every time I checked in on her she was ok. Once she was eating, once walking with a nurse, and once just sitting alone. It is clear that dad cannot go back there - I don't know for how long. I am going to try to go by tomorrow. I think she is so used to me coming and going that she will be ok. It will be a test to see how she is going to do with visitors.
My dad? Well everyone handles things differently. He went home and immediately started doing things around the house that he has not been able to do for years. I think that is healthy. My brother is hovering over him and I think that is wrong. I think he needs to respect the strength this 85 year old has and back off. But I may be wrong.
So much has gone on today. I would have to write a book to tell it all. But the thing that stands out in my mind, and will for a very long time is the scream of... "Ed! Don't leave me!"
Me? I am at peace. I know she is safer than she was. I keep crying and am not sure if the crying is tears of happiness or sorrow. Probably tears of relief.
Anyway, just thanks everyone for your prayers, good wishes, comfort, etc. I love my chat friends and treasure you.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Here's your sign...

True story.
A couple of weeks ago we picked up a load of hay from our son (yea, we are all kinda country). Anyway, the pickup bed was definitely hay high, if ya know what I mean. We decided to take a side trip, down a gravel road, to say hi to our daughter and her family. So here we are driving slowly down this cow path, hay definitely the dominant part of the truck. A farmer is coming the other way. Jim, being the friendly guy he is, rolls his truck window down and says "hey, how ya doin'?". The farmer says, "ya been getting hay?" Jim and I look at each other and grin.... we both resist saying... "Here's your sign..."

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thought I'd share this oldie but goodie. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

A man and his wife were having an argument about who
should brew the coffee each morning.
The wife said, 'You should do it because you get up first,
and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee.
The husband said, 'You are in charge of cooking around here and
you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my
Wife replies, 'No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that
the man should do the coffee.'
Husband replies, 'I can't believe that, show me.'
So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at
the top of several pages, that it indeed says . 'HEBREWS'

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mom Update

It has been a bit since I've posted anything about mom and dad, so I thought maybe I should post a short update.
A week and 1/2 ago mom got up in the middle of the night and fell. She cracked a bone in her cheek (which they decided not to operate on), and generally bunged herself up. She looks like she was in a pretty horrific fight. I finally convinced dad and my brother that we have to put her in a home. It is such a hard decision, but in my heart I know it is the right one.
I'm not wanting to dwell on this, but all of my bloggy friends have been so wonderfully supportive, that I feel an update is deserved.
The Administrator of the Alzheimer's section, Katherine, visited mom today to evaluate whether they can accept her. After the evaluatiion, Katherine and I visited for quite a long time. We actually had a good cry together. She told me that mom was actually at the lower end of the criteria she has to use to accept patients. However, as she put it, she "...fell in love with mom's gentleness and how hard she was trying..." I think she also fell in love with the devotion of a couple who were married 60 years and now had to be separated, through no fault of their own. They do a 30 day evaluation of all patients and Katherine felt mom at least diserved the chance of fitting into the unit and is going to accept her.
So, I guess next week we will take that final step. This is by far the hardest thing I have EVER done in my life!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Who writes these things!

Hmmmmm is this where babies come from?

Our tax money at work....

Will someone please tell me what they were expecting to find...

Friday, August 15, 2008

More meet me in St. Louis...

After spending the day at the Zoo, we headed to the Drury Inn. I like staying at Drury Inns. They have snacks at night (things like nachos, chip and dip, veggies, and popcorn), free drinks (3 per person), free soda and a pretty good hot breakfast. This particular Drury was only 6 months old, so everything was very clean and up-to-date.
All I wanted to do was kick back. The plan was to get our free drinks, soda for the kids, and snacks, and then head for the pool and hot tub - and that is exactly what we did. Later in the evening we ordered Pizza in.

Swimming fun - these two were like fish. Anna (the youngest) was more reserved.

I didn't know it was possible to enjoy Nachos quite this much!

We intended on heading home the next morning, but the girls talked us into taking a quick side trip to the Science Center. We figured two hours at the Science Center was better than nothing. First of all, let me tell you that two hours does not even begin to provide enough time for the Science Center! But, I am glad we went. The girls loved it. With a few exceptions, everything is free to see and do. The Science Center is such a learning experience. They have all these things to do, with explanations of why things happen the way they do. They have an awesome space section, meteorite, and so much more. Here are a few pictures:

The girls and me posing under a life size dinosaur

We wearily headed home. The best part of the trip was the girls were like sponges. They seemed to love everything we did and thanked us a million times for taking them with us. Now the challenge is finding things to do with the remaining 7 grandkids lol. Oh my, I think I'll sleep on that!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Meet me in St. Louis...

A little background about the St. Louis Zoo. The Zoo occupies 70 acreas of Forest Park, which is close to downtown St. Louis. I would liken it to St. Louis' version of New York's Central Park. I could spend days in the Forest Park area and not see everything. Most of the attractions, such as the Zoo, are free.
I have been going to the St. Louis Zoo since I was a little girl. We often took our kids to the Zoo on vacations, and have taken the grandkids several times already. Simply put, I LOVE going to the Zoo! It has changed so much over the years, and yet it remains the same.

One of my favorite places in the Zoo is the aviary. The aviary is one of the world's largest free flight bird cages. It was built for the 1904 World's Fair and was the motivator for the creator of the Zoo in 1910.
These were two of the many, many birds flying around the aviary. I could have sat and bird watched for a very long time, but 3 little girls had other ideas!

I call this one "lioning around". They thought it would be cool to put their head in the lion's mouth and pretend to be scared. The funny thing is that Emily pulled her head up and the iron teeth "bit" right into her head. Yea, I laughed. LOL
Apparently the Lions had the day off. This lazy critter was the only lion we got sight of. But that's ok, there were plenty of other creatures roaming about.

Is this a humparump?

I call it a camel with a tude.

Twin Zebras

Saw lots of long necked hickey covered critters. I honestly think they were posing.

And, yep Ladystyx, it is an Opaki! A cross between zebra and giraffe.

This guy laid down in front of us and struck a very manly pose.

The girls loved the carousel. The carousel features hand-carved wooden animals representing protected and endangered creatures at the St. Louis Zoo.

Puffins and Penguins

The Zoo has an awesome Puffins and Penguin house. As with many of the animals, though, it was hard to get good pictures because they are behind glass. Those penguins are so darn cute posing like they do. I had never heard of Puffins before.

I got a gazillion pictures of tigers and monkeys. Am having trouble figuring out what to post. Would the fact that I took 200 pictures have anything to do with that???
Here's your polar bear, Iggy :)
I was taking a picture of this peacock when it decided to attack me... I was shocked to see that I actually got a picture of it flying at us. The girls were kinda like OMG and didn't want anything to do with birds after that lol.



You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friends' nose... unless you are at the St. Louis Zoo.
This is it for now. I've never had such a tough time trying to decide which pictures to post!!!!! Soon I will post more pictures from our evening at the hotel and visit to the Science Center the next day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lions, and tigers, and bears, Oh My!

We are taking three of the grandkids to the St. Louis Zoo tomorrow. Originally we had planned to take them to The City Museum, which is an old warehouse converted into a fun place made of all recycled materials. I'm thinking The City Museum is going to be way too much fun for just the three of them. My wicked plan is to lure them all there someday soon ;). Anyway, the zoo it is!
We are heading out early tomorrow morning. Emily, Cara and Anna are already fast asleep, dreaming of their favorite animal... The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here and is supposed to continue mild tomorrow, so it should be a great day!
For those who are wondering how things turned out with the "When Is It Time" post about my mother - I posted a comment on that. With patience, understanding, faith and prayers, things will all turn out for the best.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

When is it time?

Over time I have shared with my friends the trials and tribulations of a mother with Alzheimers and a dad who is really too old and frail to be caring for her, but is giving it the old college try.
My life has pretty much been consumed with trying to care for them and ease dad's burden. It is clear to me that he cannot handle it any longer. I visited nursing homes and found one that I really liked. My first intent was to pick several and let dad chooose. However, at the last minute I decided to take him only to the one I felt was the best. So, about a month ago my mom's youngest sister came over to stay with her. Dad, my brother, Tom, and I visited Golden Living Nursing Home. My second visit there confirmed what I saw in my first visit - it was a place where they cared about the patients and treated them with respect, while having a little fun in the process. My dad was totally overwhelmed. He asked no questions, teared up several times, and just nodded. My brother seemed to like it and even stopped to visit one of the patients who happened to be a bus driver who used to work for him. We thanked Catherine, the head of the Alzheimers Unit, and left.
Dad said it was a nice place - much nicer than he had imagined it would be. My brother said the same thing. And I thought, "alright! now we are getting somewhere!"
Then things went south on me. Tom went into a tirade about how I was rushing them into things and that dad didn't have to do anything yet... that we would "step it up" and help him more. Now, frankly, I don't know how that is possible. My life revolves around their care at the moment. So Tom said he would take care of them, that I wouldn't have to do any more than I already am. Then he told dad that this isn't something he has to do and everything would be ok. I needed paperwork signed so the insurance company could get medical records from mom's doctors and get the process going. My dad and brother have power of attorney over mom. My brother refused to sign. Later that week I asked dad if he would sign and he did without question. Ok, one hurdle down.
Since that time dad has broken a bone in his hand. He's having trouble taking care of himself, much less mom. Mom's depends don't get changed until I happen to be at their house. Mom is not getting bathed unless I do it. Tom's wife volunteered for that duty but when mom says she doesn't want her to, rather than insisting, she lets it go. Bottom line is mom is not getting good care.
I finally confronted Tom during a phone conversation the other night. I didn't mean for it to be a confrontation, but it turned into that. I was frustrated and tired and told him he needed to give dad permission to let go. That I felt the only reason dad was holding on was because Tom was telling him he could. Well, that didn't set well with him at all. He then asked what I had done with the insurance papers he had refused to sign. He was even unhappier when I told him I had had dad sign them. Tom then told me that Kathleen (sis in Arizona) agreed with him and I told him I had talked to her and knew that was not true. Alright, lets just say he was pissed - but only at me, I guess because I was takinig action.
Tom's theory is that dad is going to be lost without mom. When I tried to explain that he will not have lost her, that he will be able to spend all day, every day with her, but go home to bed at night knowing that she is safe, he wouldn't listen. He woke me up at 5:30 the next morning, ready to yell at me some more. I listened to his tirade, asked if he was done, and then told him I had nothing more to say and hung up.
Mom's 85th birthday is this Sunday. I am having a small party for her - just my dad, brother Tom and his wife, and other brother, Tony (I should probably mention here that Tony is emotionally and mentally challenged and not part of the decision making process). It will be interesting to see if Tom and his wife even come.
Jim has been very supportive through all of this. And I refuse to get down in the dumps. Iggy's blog question about purpose in life hit home. We do all have a purpose in life but it changes daily. I wish I could get deeper than that and see the big picture, but I just can't.
I sure hope everyone is having a wonderful week and keep smiling folks. I am!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

New week - new "opportunities"

Well, I know I promised to bore you with more pictures, but as I looked through my memory file from this past week, there was only one other photo I really wanted to share. This is my oldest daughter's fab four (Emily, Anna, Cara & James). We called them Curly, Larry, Moe and Shemp (one of the earlier stooges). They thought that was hilarious and we had to watch old clips of the three stooges on utube. They had never heard of them before this weekend!!!! Talk about generation gap!
Anyway, I will once again be off doing good samaritan work with my parents. Dad fell and broke a bone in his hand last week (of course since he is right handed, it is his right hand). So now, mom and dad are both pretty helpless (in different ways).
I'm heading in there now with beef stroganoff for their supper. Will blog more later maybe. Will try to catch up on the blogs again over the next few days. I seem to keep getting terribly behind!
Take care all and keep on keeping on! Have a great week!

Friday, August 1, 2008


I don't believe there is any way share the joy of this week. I've already blogged the blessing of life. Two of my precious grandaughters, Emily and Cara, spent six days with us. We made the most of our days. Some of the things we did was shop (my least favorite thing in the whole world to do.. but they loved it), made potpourri (I grow and dry herbs and have a wide variety of essential oils), we pampered my mom (they were so sweet with her), we watched movies (Golden Compass, Spiderwick) we made (and ate) bagels, and they painted! We even had what we labeled "a cryathon". They were missing their mom and dad and I started telling stories... before too long we just cleansed our souls with a good cry. The pictures I took of their art work do not do justice to their creativity. What I appreciate most is the titles.. they named each of their paintings. Enjoy!
Emily wrote on this picture: GRANDPARENTS, Someone who loves you and will charrish the love fore life. Grandchildren like us, will charrish the love back and apprischeat it too. (and yes, I did cry when she gave the picture to me)

Cara labeled this picture "Dot to Dot". How appropriate is that?
My primary and secondary colors
Sea of Green
alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5229754528309876482" /> Emily and Care, artists

More pictures tomorrow, lol. It is my blog and I'll bore you if I want to....
Hmmmm I think there is a song in there somewhere....