Archive for December, 2014

Travels with Lolly: Photos

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 30, 2014 by drycreekherbs

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Lolly is Released

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 30, 2014 by drycreekherbs

On Wednesday, December 17, Lolly was released from the cruel bondage of Alzheimer’s. I ache for her family and her friends but I’m almost joyous that she is no longer shackled in that dungeon. The visitation and funeral were packed with her loved ones and fans; there were many. I won’t try to eulogize here—Kelly and Brad did a masterful job of that at the funeral. Trite saying how proud she would be —

I loved Lolly—she made me a better person. I was the Johnny-come-lately in her cadre of friends. Our bond was trust…she knew I would keep her safe. I won’t remember Lolly as she was at the end. Instead I am and will think of her just as she was—pretty, vibrant, funny, and just full of common sense. I loved our travels, tears, laughter, stories, and missions. I can say this—Viking River Cruises should have paid us—we entertained so many. We used to say we were, “…the best dinner show on the river.” No one could sashay like Lolly.

Dear Mom

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 28, 2014 by drycreekherbs

December 26, 2014

Dear Mom,

I hate that talking isn’t something we can do any more. I know you can’t hear me at all so talking is one sided and not very communicative. It is nearly impossible for me to share the good talk we have always had through screaming. So, it is absolutely essential that you know how very much I love you. More than anything I wish and pray for your comfort and knowledge that Billy and I will always do what we can to assure your security and wellbeing. This is an incredibly harsh journey and still you handle it with grace.

Billy will bring you up here so you can see that I haven’t painted the house purple or anything weird! Please know that you did not cause any problems yesterday. I wish we lived closer but this is what it is. I always start to get weepy when we say our farewells. That is because I want you to know how wonderful you have made my life. Certainly, I would never ask for a better role model. In my head I have so much to tell you and questions to ask.

Diego and I have been picking up pecans down by the dry creek. He is almost as good as a pig for finding truffles. He works hard find the first few which he eats shell and all. He certainly gets his share of fiber —better than Metamucil! Fortunately, the pecans are thin shelled. So far we have a big box—I hope to take them down to the feed store tomorrow to be cracked. This may be a one-time occurrence as the meat may look like shrunken heads–all dried up. I love picking up pecans…the best therapy in the world. Sometimes I think there are lots of life lessons embedded in pecan picking.

I think David’s Frances is smart and a pretty young woman. I hope they have lots of good years together. Did you know she crocheted the snowflake ornaments? Also she and her Mom made the awesome sugar cookies. I think I ate 5 of them last night while I was reading my book.   

I am reading two books, The Distant Hours by Kate Morton and Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer, and listening to another, The Forgotten by David Baldacci. They are totally different. Distant Hours is like Daphne Du Maurier, Things that Matter is non-fiction, conservative, and funny/serious, and The Forgotten is a mystery. I love all three—especially Distant Hours. I am going to send it to you. Just finished Killing Patton. I liked the personal information far more than the military hoopla.

I am also sending you a Christmas card from cousin Betty McNeese. She is Uncle Carl’s daughter—you might enjoy looking at her family photo. AND, I am sending an Internet definition of a Bethlehem cross. I love the cross that Gary Moyer gave you all those years ago….I figure it is at least 50 years old…thank you for letting me have it. I wear it all the time. On the back it says 1000 Bethlehem….so I looked that up. I think you will like knowing it is solid silver!

Mom, you are so wonderfully generous. Thank you for the bountiful Christmas checks. As I look around our house, I see so many things you have given me….I love to think of all the stories that go with everything.

I have vertigo or a similar such thing so much that I am nearly housebound till late in the day. I think it is that torture device, CPAP machine that I am using to ‘cure’ sleep apnea. This may be a case where the cure is worse than the condition.

Ok, I am closing—I am going through photos of my trips with Lolly….we had so much fun. Friends are blessings.

I love you — today I remembered (?) our desperate race to the airplane in Tokyo. I was 4 or 5. In my mind’s eye it was in the middle of the night and I think the taxi took us on the tarmac to the passenger loading stairs. Is that possible? We overslept? We were headed back to Okinawa. And speaking of Okinawa I have this great photo of you wearing a mermaid tail at the International Date Line event on board our ship. I wish I knew the name of that ship so I could look it up on the Internet. How is it they talked you into that fishtail costume? I know your great hair and of course, you have always been super stunning—but you always say how shy you were….Damn, I would love to be the mermaid at a festival….but like my favorite bar in San Miguel, I would be La Sirena Gordo—a fat mermaid! Here a picture of two men carrying you to the event. There was a close up too–I would kill for that picture but it was probably one of the pictures destroyed the leaky air conditioner. Grrrrr.

Ok, I really am closing now.   

Love from your FAVORITE!

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The Hard Part May be Starting

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 12, 2014 by drycreekherbs

On Wednesday I will go to SAT. Before I get there Billy will have arranged for two different ‘assessments’ for Mom. These encounters are designed to determine what kind of care Mom will require in a facility. He has two nursing homes that he believes would work.

December 7th

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 12, 2014 by drycreekherbs

…..Pearl Harbor Day. Pam died eleven years ago. She will be forever right there in my brain and heart.

I am not going to be a gloomy Gus tonight….I will just recount things instead of teasing apart each event and it’s emotional partner.

I am roasting ‘my’ famous Buckee’s Bacon Wrapped, Cream Cheese and Jalapeño Pork Roast that I didn’t cook on Friday.

There are lots of little things I can mention but the real biggies are Len and Mom. Len had a laminectomy on December 1…Wikipedia says it is minimally invasive….well he has a 6” incision down the lower part of his spine, 31 staples running up (looks like a zipper), and he is, of course, black and blue. Dr. H. shaved off the lower vertebrae and widened the spinal canal. So, I will leave out all the medical stuff that I can’t get right, and say that Len is doing great overall. He walks currently with a walker. BUT, he does have some pain….I couldn’t rate it….sometimes 0 sometimes 10. All those nerves have to knit back and that won’t be fast. He is pretty eager to see this behind him and it is difficult for him to be patient. If he is better tomorrow we will go on a ride….maybe out to Ft. Hood. He won’t be driving for at least another week.IMG_2001.jpg

Friday night Len said he felt well enough to have the Happy Hour folks over…the Lawson’s were here from PA and the Denton’s were driving up from Wimberly. Two hours before the guests were to arrive, Brother Bill called. Mom fell; used her Life Line to call for help; EMS took her to North East Methodist Hospital. Happy Hour cancelled and I hit the road. There is sooooo much that happens in a hospital event. So the outcome is that she fell probably because of feeling discombobulated due to an undiagnosed urinary infection. I took her home and stayed over the night. I don’t see how Mom survives. She is emaciated yet eats well. She has some kind of odd will to keep going that I don’t understand. She wants her flu shot and she wants to take her medications. As I see it, she has no quality of life. It isn’t my call. She does NOT want to relocate. Billy has several good leads he is researching for a sitter/helper in addition to Monica who comes two times a week.

December 11, 2014. Clearly some time has passed since I started this entry. There is so much going on and I seem to be floundering and can’t manage anything….maybe I never did. Len continues to improve….he is very pumped up about his doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Mainly he is hoping the staples are removed and he is given permission to drive. Yesterday we had his first outing to Walmart….he was zipping around the store using the walker….BUT he did need to stop and sit occasionally and he is being very careful about twisting, bending, and lifting. I have taken the temporary dog run duty….this includes taking the golf cart around the property so Diego can race around and burn up some energy…very important.

Tuesday night our Salado Book Club had our December soiree and also selected our books for 2015. These are the books we chose:

Me Before You

• Killing Patton

• The Light Between Oceans

• Ordinary Grace

• The Dinosaur Feather

• Eleanor and Park

• The Invention of Wings

• Claire of the Sea Light

• Leaving Time

• Her Fearful Symmetry

• All the Light We Cannot See

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Brother Bill is very good about calling me and keeping me updated on Mom’s wellbeing. I do my best to be a good listener and not assert too many opinions…he is doing his very best. Mom seems to be unraveling…she has lost her feeling in her hands so she frequently drops things….she has trouble eating, etc. She is particularly worried about her house and the furnishings. She seems to want Billy to move into her house after she goes…he doesn’t seem interested. Mom and I talked about it when I was home for her fall experience…actually I don’t know if we really talked about it. Mom cannot hear anything and she frequently misunderstands what is said to her. Her deafness has almost completely separated us. This pains me more than anything. Now we have someone who comes in to help her bathe. I think in the past three weeks Mom has lost so much ability. She told Billy this morning that she wanted to go to a nursing home….I think really assisted living. She is depressed, frail, weak, and anxious. This week Billy has been checking out different facilities. This is not going to happen easily. I will go home next week and help Billy look. We agree that Mom needs to be involved in the choice…I think it is the right time but I am afraid that when Mom sees what is available she will balk.

I love picking up pecans…better than finding sand dollars on the beach. We have about 5 native trees down by the derycreek but they produces fairly small nuts…this year a good crop. When I showed them to Len he said, “These make me think of Bob Wadley.” We used to send Bob tiny pecans for his squirrels in Amarillo. I like that Len remembered that.

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All the things I was going to write about seem insignificant.

I went to see Foy again on Sunday. He has lost a good deal of weight and has a bad haircut that makes him seem like a different person. He is much, much more accepting than I ever expected, although he says that he does not want to move and not be able to take his furniture. This must be a much bigger loss for older people than I ever realized. I am going to do my best to visit him every week. He told me how boring it was in the Rehab Center. I can only imagine how boring this is for him…he isn’t a typical fellow…reading British Traditional Home, House to Home, and the English Home. He also misses his garden and particularly he misses his piano…he told me that he always played his piano every single day. He wants me to bring him some popped corn and crackers. I hope he is having many visitors….he had Thanksgiving dinner with the former Swedish Ambassador and his wife who live in Waco.

IMG_2007.JPGToday was December Birthday Club…and next week I am reviewing Book Thief for Adelea’s Book Club. I have read it twice before—once just because it was recommended, the second time before I reviewed it for the Salado Book Club. Now the third time so I can review it for Adelea’s Book Club…since I am running out of time, I am reading it and listening to it….which is another reason I am not writing well. I am listening and writing…multitasking isn’t my strength.

Nice news: David and Frances are engaged!

IMG_2005.JPG Ok, time for a glass of wine and more listening to Book Thief.