Saturday, February 28, 2009


A lazy rainy day.
Two lazy dogs.
Two lazy people, each with a good book, one still in pj's.
A pot of homemade chili.

Friday, February 27, 2009

WoooooHooooo - The Farm Chicks Giveaway!!!

Okay, so I have to tell you - I just LOVE the Farm Chicks! I first read about them in Country Living Magazine, and fell in love with their stories. I mean, anyone who sends guests homemade aprons as their invitations to a party, well, they have got to be really cool!!!

Then in 2007 we had planned a week long camping trip to Ohio. Right after I had reserved our campsite, I found out about the Country Living Fair and that those Farm Chicks would be there! So of course I had to change our reservations because the CL Fair was one week AFTER our trip. I even told my husband that "Sorry, we ARE going, and you'll enjoy it or just be quiet if you don't!" The fair was wonderful, AND at the Farm Chicks booth I met and chatted with Teri and bought an apron. It hangs on the rooster rack in my kitchen right now!

So, when I hear that they are having a surprise giveaway, with the prize being a surprise, of course I have to enter! If you want to enter too, hurry right over to their blog and see what you have to do to enter. Blessings friends, Becky

Floral Friday - A Little Late!

Due to my dad's health crisis and all, I haven't done a Floral Friday post in a while, so I wanted to share some pictures with you now. They are all from my yard, taken April 30, 2007.

Pink Knockout Rose
Bearded Iris - Deep Purple
Bearded Iris - Peach Ruffles
And I know, this isn't a flower, but the birds in my yard are like flowers with wings! These last two are pictures of the pair of Rose Breasted Grosbeak that visited me for a couple of days. They are migratory, and only stop in passing, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching them while they were here!

This one is of the pair. The male (with red breast) is sitting just above and to the left of the top of the feeder. Look directly above him and you'll see the female sitting on a limb.
I hope you've enjoyed this visit to my yard. It sure makes me dream of spring! Our weather is very spring-like with rain showers all day today and tomorrow, but then they are saying we'll have snow on Sunday!
The good part of the showers is that I know they are so very good for our plants that are waiting for some sunny warm days of spring to come popping up out of the ground. As a matter of fact, when I went to check the mailbox a little while ago, I noticed my chrysanthemums are already putting out their frilly green leaves! I think they may want to tuck them back in for a while yet!
Whether your day is filled with rain, snow, sunshine or clouds, I wish for you a wonderful day! Becky

ChangingPlans Of Your Own Accord

My week hasn't exactly gone as I'd planned it. And in this instance, it's been wonderful!!! You see, that shopping I'd planned doing on Tuesday didn't get done. I needed a day or two, and I took them - two of them! Bliss!!! That's what you call having two days in which you can stay in your pj's if you want (or change into an old raggedy sweatsuit like I did) and just veg out, chill, play a little, read a little more, and snack. That's what I did for Tuesday and Wednesday. Heavenly!

Then yesterday I took myself off to the Tyson Company Store where I bought 60 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts for a song! Sixty pounds for $87 or $1.45 a pound. Happy, Happy!

Anyway, I also went to BJ's where I stocked up on detergents, fabric softener, trash bags, TP and Kleenex, etc. I also bought something I've been wanting for a while. A 500 gb external hard drive. Yup, I'm gonna be backing up everything on my two pc's so if they should crash, I won't have to kill myself. I know, that's a pretty strong statement, but if I lost all my pictures and files, I'd just probably lose it completely!

So, while I didn't do things exactly as planned, I did them and in good time. And those two days of doing basically nothing were well worth the putting off of things that needed doing!

Here's hoping you are having a wonderful day! Becky

Monday, February 23, 2009


Have you ever been so physically and emotionally exhausted that you couldn't sleep? That was me Saturday night. After we got my dad home, I ran by the grocery store and came home, we went to get a quick dinner and I could finally relax, my brain just wouldn't shut down! I slept from 11:30 pm to 12:30 am, and then again from 6:30 am to 8:30 am Sunday morning, and that was it! I got up so tired!

But, when you have someone else you have to help care for, your time isn't your own, so I knew I'd better 'make hay while the sun shone' and get some things done around here. I washed, dried and put away 4 loads of clothes, got the 5th washed and in the dryer. (They are still waiting for me to put them away, but it's jeans so they can wait a minute!) Washed dishes, loaded the dishwasher, vacuum sealed and froze boneless pork loin (enough for 9 -10 meals - I'll be doing a post on that soon), and cooked a wonderful dinner of beef tenderloin, baked potatoes and roasted carrots and asparagus - yum - then got the dishwasher going.

After the last 3 weeks, I really need a few days to recharge and refuel. It won't happen today since we've got appointments for my dad with both his cardiologist and the urologist for a follow-up. Back to back, top to bottom, lol! One appointment is at 2pm upstairs and the next is at 3:40 downstairs, both in the same building - thank goodness!

But here's where the hope part comes in - If all goes well, and my dad stays out of the hospital for a while, I should (hopefully) have the rest of this week to get some things done around my home and do some playing! I sorely need some relaxed playtime in my office/studio. Of course I have other things to do, too - but don't you ALWAYS have things that need to be done!

I need to go to BJ's and do my quarterly household shopping. This is when I buy laundry supplies, dish liquid and dishwasher tabs (but once a year for those), bathroom tissue (TP), a big bag of walnuts, another big bag of craisins, and assorted and sundry other goods that are cheaper at BJ's than at the grocery store. I usually buy enough to last 3-5 months all at one time. This saves a lot of money over time - I just HATE running to the grocery store every couple of weeks to get laundry detergent, and it's so expensive that way!

*Note: I buy the walnuts and craisins because that is one of our favorite snacks, and because they are very healthy (and I know that craisins have lots of sugar, but which is better, them or candy??? At least the cranberries have lots of anti-oxidants!). Whenever we go out riding, canoeing, or riding our Trikkes, I take some of the walnuts and craisins for a snack, and either gatorade or bottles of water to wash them down, and they are filling, satisfy our snacking needs, and are delicious.

Anyway, back to the plan for tomorrow - I also want to go to the Tyson store and buy probably 60 pounds (or maybe 80) of boneless skinless chicken breasts for the freezer. As I've said before, we are very fortunate to live in a town where there is a big huge Tyson chicken processing facility right in downtown. They have a company store where you can buy 20# boxes of boneless, skinless chicken breasts for market price - usually between $26 - 30 per box. They are flash frozen, so they are individual pieces, in four 5 pound bags per box. This is one more step in our stocking up plan.

But after tomorrow, I hope to be able to stay home for a few days, and do some real recharging of my internal batteries! Don't we all need to do that once in a while??? Of course our camping trips are when we really do it (hubby and I) but you have to hve those times in between, too. When you don't feel you have a minute for yourself, that's when you REALLY need to make a few minutes for yourself, because if you don't, you'll find yourself crashing at the most inopportune time!

Well, I hear those poor jeans calling my name - it's time to put them away, get my clothes together and get a bath so I can go get my parents. Before we leave to go to the Doctors appts. my mom wants me to take her to Tractor Supply so she can get some bird seed. We are both avid back yard birders, and I hope to talk about that on here some day, too! So many things to talk about, so little time - LOL!

Have a blessed day, friends! Becky

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Home Alone

I love my parents, and I love having my mom come to visit occasionally. But it sure is nice to have both of them settled back in THEIR HOME so I can come home cuddle up with my hubby and rest a while!

Daddy is fine for now. I'm too tired for words. I have one day to rest, clean the kitchen and do laundry, then we have 2 doctors appointments back to back (2pm and 3:40pm) on Monday. I know it's early, but I'm going to bed with my rice filled bed buddy for my cold tired feet and watch tv.

Blessings y'all! Becky

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dad's Doing Well - Mom and I Are Tired!

My dad is doing well. We expect him to go home tomorrow - until next time. And there will be a next time. We didn't spend much time with him today. If we weren't in the room with him he seemed relaxed and enjoying watching tv. Whenever we were in there, he was moaning and groaning and complaining and just miserable. He also continuously tried to think of something to make my mom get up and down so she couldn't rest. We just left and came back home. We'll be there earlier tomorrow since he'll probably go home sometime in the afternoon. That's it from here. All prayers and good thoughts are so appreciated! B.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Back To The Hospital!

Just a quick post - I'm tired! My dad is back in the hospital again. I actually left this morning to go have a rare 'day out' and was shopping at a JoAnn store about 40 minutes from here when my mom called around noon. My dad was having trouble breathing, but didn't want to go to the hospital. "Tough!" We left him no choice. He has chronic congestive heart failure, and we wanted to get him checked out early, so we spent 6+ hours in ER before finally getting into a room a little before 8 pm tonight. We left him in capable hands and came home to start back over tomorrow morning.

He did have fluid beginning to build up around his heart, and to get rid of it he has to be on meds - he literally loses it through urination, so the catheter that was removed on Monday is at work once again. He's doing fine - not critical this time, and shouldn't be there more than 2-3 days at most - if all goes well.

So, back to the hospital tomorrow, but I'll take my laptop, so I should be able to check in and read my favorite blogs. Blessings, Becky

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stocking Up Camellia Cottage Style

My husband and I are a really great team! We try our best to keep open the lines of communication and discuss things from many different angles, then work to reach a decision that works for both of us. Sometimes that's hard to do, other times it all just comes together like it's supposed to do. One example of this was deciding what to do with an unexpected bonus hubby received from his job. He's worked there for 36+ years, and never in that time has he ever gotten a 'bonus', and he's been told it will never happen again - a one time deal, they said. His bonus was four weeks pay!

Now, right around the holidays, I felt God had put it on my heart that we really needed to be stocking up on food. I don't know why, but it was clear that was what I strongly felt we should be doing. One day we were talking and I brought that up to hubby, and he said he agreed. That's when he told me he had just that day found out about the upcoming bonus, and we started discussing how we could best use that money - that gift from God! It didn't take long before we agreed we should buy another freezer, and fill it and our current freezer (which sadly, was getting low on supplies) with meats and stock up on canned goods and other staples.

We didn't want to go overboard, partly because it wouldn't be a wise use of the money, but partly because we didn't want to get more than we could easily eat in a year's time. After all, food stuffs don't have an endless shelf life!

I looked online and at a few local stores and found a freezer that I thought would work, and we ordered it. Then I began planning what we should put in both freezers. We decided on:
  • a 'freezer special' plus 50# of ground chuck from Fergusons - a local meat market,
  • 80# of boneless skinless chicken breasts from the local Tyson 'company store' (market priced - a steal!),
  • 40 - 50# of boneless pork loin from Kroger when they have it on sale,
  • assorted canned goods (green beans, peas, corn, tomatoes, broths, soups, etc.)
  • staples (flour, cornmeal, sugar, rice, etc.)

First up, the local meat market. I got a freezer special that included ground round, chicken breasts, pork chops, chuck roasts, ribs, cubed steak, ribeye steaks, bacon wrapped filet, bacon, etc. I also got an extra 50# of ground chuck. Here's what I came home with >>>

Two huge boxes of meat in the back of my car - I had to carry out a smaller box and use it to get all of the goodies into the house.

Box # 1 - such a beautiful sight!

Box # 2 - Why does the sight of lots of meat give me such a pleased as punch feeling???

Now, we've bought lots of meat from Fergusons since we moved here 5 1/2 years ago, but this was the first big freezer order we'd had from this market, so I didn't know what to expect 'packaging wise'. I had planned on unwrapping everything and sealing it up in food saver bags, but when I started opening up those packages, I found there was no need! Everything was tightly wrapped in thick plastic, then wrapped tightly in freezer paper. I still had to seal up the 50# of ground chuck because I told them to give it to me in bulk, but from now on, no more of that - since there's no extra charge, they can wrap it up for me!

I have a Food Saver brand vacuum sealer, and use it OFTEN! It's amazing how long things will keep in those bags if they are sealed properly. The bags are a bit expensive, but if you think ahead, you can make them a little more cost effective. How? I make each bag a little larger than it has to be, and when I use the product inside I wash the bags, hang them to dry in my pantry and RE-USE them! Depending on what you are storing, you can use a bag 3 - 4 times before it's too small to re-use.

Bacon, ground chuck, and assorted meats in white freezer paper - ready for the freezer.

Ten pounds of ground chuck, ready to be divided, weighed, packed and sealed.

Tools for the job - Food Saver (bags in the background), scissors, magic marker, and food and bread storage bags. I use the bags for lining the tray of the scales, and putting over my right hand for handling the meat. This is Kroger brand, and they are really inexpensive - less expensive than gloves anyway.

My scales. They are pretty basic, but they work! I actually bought these (new, in the box) at a flea market somewhere for just a few dollars, and they have paid for themselves many times over!

This was pretty much an afternoon's work, but now I have a nice supply of mostly beef in my freezer. Since the day I did those meats, I've also bought flour and cornmeal, sausage, canned goods, and tomorrow I'm going to buy the pork loin and chicken breasts. I'll share about these purchases in future posts.

The great part of all this - my freezers will be packed full of meats, and we'll have a good supply of staples as well. My husband's company has already cut back on his overtime, and he expects to lose it completely before long. That can make a $100 - $200 a week difference in our income. With all this food in house, we won't have to spend as much on groceries, and that will help a lot.

Are you stocking up? Planning for what may lie ahead? Or are you just sitting back and waiting to see what happens next? I'd love to hear your comments, suggestions, stance on how things are going with you these days! Blessings friends, Becky

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Catching Up!

Hi Folks! Sorry it's been a couple of days since my last post, but I've been 'chillin'!

Friday I went to Kroger and stocked on a bunch of stuff they had on sale, and lucky, lucky - this week they have their great boneless pork loin on sale for $1.99 a lb., so I plan on buying about 30 - 40 lbs, have them slice them up and seal them in food saver bags. One more step in my stocking up marathon.

Saturday I basically did nothing. Just vegetated, and man, did it feel good! We did go to a neighboring town to Red Lobster for our Valentines dinner. It was nice to get out - just hubby and me for a change.

Today, I'm still in my pj's at 8 pm! Actually, I got a bath a little while ago and put on clean pj's, but pj's nonetheless! I've washed clothes (4 loads) and straightened up the office/playroom, but not done much else today. I've needed this couple of days to decompress and relax a bit.

Tomorrow, We have to be at the Urologists office around 9:00 to fill out paperwork before our 9:30 appointment. Then to the Kidney spec (Nephrologist?) for blood work in preparation of our appt. with him on Thursday. Then I've got to take my mom on a few errands to WalMart, etc. It will be another long day, but as long as my dad is okay, I don't mind! Now that he's eating a little more good food, and getting a little bit of exercise, he seems to be feeling a little bit better.

So, that's been my weekend. A bit of R & R, and I'm ready to start another week. Have a good one everyone! Becky

Friday, February 13, 2009

Another Long Day!

Yesterday was another long day. We ended up having to take my dad back to the ER because he was trying (at 3 AM) to put his jeans on over the large 'overnight' bag for the catheter and pulled it out part way. He was bleeding around the catheter, but not in his urine, and the catheter was still working. They checked him out (after 4+ hours of waiting!) and sent him home telling him to go see the urologist on Monday. By the time I got them home and settled, went over the instructions with them and drove the 35 - 40 minutes home, it was after 9 pm before I got home. I was so tired!

But I had a night of exhausted sleep and feel better this morning. Unless there is an emergency I shouldn't have to go back until Monday. My aunt is going today to check on them and take my mom to the store if she needs to go. She's also bringing my dad some sweat pants so he can get them on and off easier than jeans.

This morning I'm going through coupons and getting ready to go to Kroger on a major shopping trip! They have a 'case' sale and I want to get canned veggies, tomato sauce and cheese to stock up on. I also got another great bunch of coupons from them, including one for $12.00 off a single order of $120.00 in groceries. I'll try to do another grocery post once I've been and see how much I save on this trip!

I've also still got to post about my freezer stocking that I started just before my dad got sick, and have yet to finish. I still need to go to the Tyson company store and buy chicken breasts, and am waiting for Kroger to have their boneless pork loins on sale so I can stock up on those as well. Oh, and finding someone who has White Lily flour and cornmeal mix on sale so I can stock up on that, too. I want to find a 25 lb. bag of rice for a good price, too.

Well, that's it for now. I need to call and check in on my parents, call a couple of dr's offices to get appointments and then get dressed and head for Kroger. Thanks once again for all of your wonderful advice and prayers for my family and myself. Each one is much appreciated more than you can know! Blessings, Becky

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I admit it - I don't know what to do . . .

If you have elderly parents and don't have to be responsible for their care, you are very fortunate. If you are younger and your parents aren't there yet, get ready. If you have siblings - talk about this NOW and reach an agreement as to how their care will be given and who will be responsible for what. Sadly, I only have one brother and he only comes around when he wants something. He is more of a liability than anything else, and he has never been, and will never be any help to me in the care of our parents.

This is harder than anything I've ever had to do - EVER!!! There are several levels on which it is hard, let me tell you a few:

1 - You become the parent of aging parents who still look at you as a child, so therefore you don't know anything. They look to you for guidance and help, but don't for a minute believe you can do anything to help them, and they don't even attempt to make it easier.

2 - There are things going on inside of them (physically and mentally) that you aren't even aware of and have to find out in little mini segments, making it hard to know what to do at any given time.

3 - They need and want independence, but they aren't able to be independent and resent the heck out of you for trying to take it away from them, even if you are only trying to help.

Wondering where this is coming from??? Well, my dad got home last night, was up and down all night, tried to pull the catheter out, and is totally unable to realize how serious his condition is. My mom is worn out from 2 weeks of worrying with him, and she's been up with him since before 5 AM because he'd had an accident in his pants and she had to clean him up and found a clot of blood in his pants. So she's got a call in to the Urologist about the catheter, and I've got a call in to the staff Dr. at the hospital about his meds and the social services nurse at his primary dr's office to talk to her about our options.

In my opinion my dad is no longer able to care for himself, and my mom is no longer able to provide the level of care he needs. After all, she's almost 79 y/o and I can see a huge decline in her over the last few months. She's tired, but it's more than that.

Are any of you in similar situations??? Do you have elderly parents that you are responsible for - either in part or in whole??? How are you dealing with this??? I'd love to hear from you, but more than that, I covet your prayers for my parents, and for myself! Specifically I need wisdom, patience, and peace that I am doing what is best for them both.

Talk to me! How have you handled similar situations! Becky

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jog!

Well, he got his wish! My dad is at home now. He's weak as can be; just worn out, in fact! But he did get to go home today. Before we got to the hospital this morning he declined home health care or PT. The doctor told him if he wouldn't have hhc or pt for 2 weeks, he couldn't go home, so he broke down and agreed. He's also getting oxygen to have at night when he sleeps. He still has the 'foley' catheter, but I think it's pretty straightforward and they'll be able to handle it. HHC will check it out each time they come.

I see such a decline in his condition over the last few weeks. I just don't know how much stress and strain his worn out heart can take. It's a tough position to be in - loving your parent and wanting them here, but knowing they aren't really living, and trying to be ready to let them go when the time comes. I know he's in God's able and loving hands, and that's a peace-giving knowledge.

I'm exhausted, both physically and mentally. Being caregiver to elderly parents is the hardest job I've ever had. I have become (in many ways) their parent, but yet I'm the child they still see as much younger than I am, and thus unable to help them. Tomorrow I plan on sleeping late (8am maybe?) and be really lazy except for the phone calls I need to make to various doctors.

A day at home, alone, quiet, peaceful. Decompressing. Destressing. Please Lord, let it be so!

Blessings, Becky

(Sue, if you are interested, e-mail me, I'd love to thank you for your encouragement and support!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday Update

Just a quickie tonight. Nothing major going on except my dad . . . . . IS IN A NON-CRITICAL CARE ROOM!!! PTL - we finally got him in a room. He is weaned from all drips, still has the catheter, however. For those of you who know about such things, it's a 'foley'? Anyway that will probably go home with him and we'll have to take him to the urologists office to have it removed. He's not happy that he didn't come home, but my mom and I are glad - he needs to walk around some more and make sure he's able to care for himself some before he goes home.

The hospital was PACKED today - they actually had 6 people in ER waiting for rooms AND my dad and a few others in CCU waiting for rooms. I rode my trikke around the parking lot a while again today, and there were no empty parking spots to be found.

So, I'm really tired, going to bed now. Will let you know more tomorrow. Thanks again for the prayers and such. Many blessings, a tired Becky

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Update - A VERY Long Day!

Hi Folks! It's been a long one! Mama and I left here around 6:20 AM and were at the hospital by 7:15. We wanted to try to be there should the cardiologist come by because they had told us on Sat. that he had been called in by the dr. on staff. We waited, and waited, and waited some more. Finally around 4PM the staff dr. came in and we asked her - no, she had NOT called the cardiologist in, because my dad was doing better than she thought he would be, and she no longer thought she would need to transfer him to St. Josephs - a large hospital with a larger heart dept, and the home hospital of his cardio. So, we were there all day under the wrong info that he would be coming by.

BUT! They are going to remove the catheter - Dad's kidneys are working better - yippee! Also, they are trying to wean him off of the meds that are regulating his BP. Once that is done, if all goes well, he should be able to go home within 24 hours. So we're looking at 1 - 2 more days most likely. The staff dr. today did try to get him to understand how bad his heart is, but he doesn't care right now - he just wants to go home! He thinks everything will be okay if he can go home. And maybe it will be for a little while.

We got home a little over 13 hours after we left this morning, and I really, really wanted to just go to bed and watch The Bachelor - and darn it if our prez didn't decide to have a press conference! I just don't know if I'll make it until 11 pm to see the rose ceremony tonight. And honestly, I hope I don't! Hubby had a cold or something and coughed and sneezed and moaned all night last night, so I didn't get much sleep.

So, until tomorrow night - rest well, and thanks for all the prayers and comments and good wishes! Blessings, Becky

(PS - Sue, you are such a joy and a comfort - thank you!)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Update - Taking it easy . . .

Hello everyone! We've had an easier day today - thanks in part to my aunt, and in part to the fact we just decided to come home early since my dad is doing pretty well. I don't know if I told you, but my dad's two sisters are 13 and 15 years younger than him - and 7 and 9 years older than me! The older of the sisters came up on Friday from Marco Island, Florida and has spent the weekend with the other sister, but visiting with my dad and mom and me at the hospital. She called this morning and said she would go sit with him this morning and for us to take it easy. She left this afternoon to head back to S. Florida.

We didn't really take it any easier, but we did stop at Waffle House for breakfast, then went by my parents house so my mom could get some more clothes and we fed her birds. Then we got to the hospital around 11 am.

My dad is doing well. Sitting on the side of the bed and standing up for a few seconds at a time. They are beginning the process of weaning him off of the drugs that helped stabilize his BP. He is eating solid foods and grumbling and complaining, so we know he's doing okay.

We still plan on leaving EARLY tomorrow morning so we can be there to meet with his cardiologist. My main question for him will be 'what's the prognosis?' How much more of this can his heart take before it finally just wears completely out. But I don't know if he will be able to give me a straight answer. My aunt asked the lung spec. that question this morning and she said "If you had asked me that 3 days ago, I would not have thought he would be here today, much less eating solid foods and sitting up! But if he gets some strength back, he may go back home and do okay for a while, until the next spell, and then we'll have to see."

So, it's one of those things that we'll just have to wait and see how things go. I do know he is stubborn, and his stubbornness and will to live have kept him going this long, so he won't give up without a fight. And when he's too tired to fight, we'll deal with that when the time comes.

Thanks once again for prayers you are lifting up! We so appreciate each and every one. Now I'm off to the kitchen - I took steaks out of the freezer this morning, it's a beautiful day, and we're cooking them out on the deck. Yum! Grilled ribeyes, roast potatoes and green beans. Delish! Blessings, Becky

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday Update

Hello Everyone!

We were greeted with two surprises when we got to my dad's room this morning! One was that his best friend in the world was there visiting, which was wonderful! They worked together many moons ago, and are very close. The second surprise . . . . . They had removed the tube from his nose and he was on solid foods!!!!! He had an OJ slushie Friday night and then a scrambled egg, bread, coffee and OJ for breakfast. We were so excited!

He is definitely feeling better because he was irritable and bossy and he wanted his chewing tobacco! We told him we didn't have any there, and he wasn't happy - but what's he going to do???

Nothing else changed much today - it being Saturday they weren't doing much. We are very lucky that the CCU is only a little over half full, so it's a little more laid back than usual.

They have called in his cardiologist, and we expect him to be there on Monday morning early, so we'll try to leave here earlier than usual so we can be there. We love Dr. Leggett, and want to talk to him about my dad's prognosis. October 2007 his heart was working between 25 - 35% but now it's only 15%.

Tonight we (hubby, mom and I) splurged and went to a local Italian restaurant, and the salad, garlic rolls dripping in butter and cheese ravioli baked in meat sauce and cheese was just what the doctor ordered! Tomorrow it's back to the hospital. We are hoping they will put him in a regular room early in the week, but don't know yet if he'll go home or go to rehab. He hasn't even set on the edge of the bed yet, and although he thinks he can get up, I think he'll be surprised how weak he is.

Thanks again for all the prayers and good thoughts. Each and every one is much appreciated! Blessings, Becky

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Update

Hello all! It's been a really long and stressful day. My dad is doing okay - a bit better than yesterday, but it's slow going. He is still not allow to take anything by mouth except ice and little bits of water. His urologist (sp?) said he had expected to put him on dialysis today, but his potassium and creatinin (sp?) levels were down and he is once again creating urine, so they didn't have to do that. His heart is operating at 15% capacity, and his internal defibrilator has worked 3 times since Tuesday night. He is off of meds for low BP, but is still on meds for arhythmia. They at first thought that he had a 'septic' infection and was suffering 'septic shock' but now are not convinced that is the case as they can find no infections. They are keeping him on antibiotics just in case. His stomach is still a little swollen and he's having a good bit of gas. The best thing is that he is still 'with us' mentally and knows where he is and why. He will be in CCU until at least Monday and maybe longer, then he will be put into a room, and possibly have to go to rehab after that. He will not be happy about that!!!

The stressful part actually was not to do with my dad, but my mom. We are both very tired. Even though we are getting sleep at night - going to and from the hospital and not really having any 'down time' is wearing on us. Today I allowed her to push all my buttons (don't mothers love to do that?) and showed my temper badly. Please pray for me that I can keep that from happening again!

Once again, thank you for all your comments, prayers! Each one is appreciated. I'll continue to keep you updated. Blessings to you! Becky

Floral Friday - February 6, 2009

One of our favorite 'hobbies' is jumping in the car and going riding. In July of 2007 for our anniversary we had planned going to the Asheville, NC area for our wedding anniversary, but my dad had just gotten out of the hospital and I didn't want to go that far, so we camped in Murphy, NC (a couple of hours vs 5-6 hours away) and did some riding in the area. One road we love is the road between that goes along the Nantahala river and past Nantahala lake - along the 'Wayah Bald' road. That trip I got out and got some pictures of wildflowers. Queen Annes Lace, Daisy, a bee on a clover bloom, etc. I hope you enjoy these pictures. Blessings, Becky

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday Update

Hi everyone! Another long day, any of you who have 'been there' know that sitting around a hospital all day is exhausting, and today was no different. When we got there, my dad was a little more alert and 'perky' but still confused and didn't understand where he was and why! They had just gotten him a bath and put on a clean hospital gown, and he seemed a little better.

I let my mom and aunt spend most of the time in the CCU room as I always feel I'm in the way, and he gets more confused if there are several people in there. (This is a small hospital and if you are quiet and he's stable, they will let us stay in there most of the time.) So I spent most of the day alone in the CCU waiting room (just across the hall from CCU). They have redecorated it since last time we were there about a year ago, and it's quite nice and more comfortable. I worked on a red felt heart ornament with tons of buttons sewn on, and then played catch-up with reading blogs.

Anyway, back to my dad. About 4:30 or so my aunt came out and said he's better. He had been asleep - a true, deep, restful, healing sleep for a long time, and when he woke up they could tell he felt better. His pillow was wet and his face was beaded up with sweat, but when they took his temp it was normal. Once again - a healing, deep sleep. He asked where he was and why. He had no idea he had been there for 48 hours or why! I went in and visited with him for a few minutes, and there's definitely been a little improvement. His blood count was better, he is urinating better, his bp was better, too. They are still worried and can't figure out why his stomach's swelling isn't going down - or really why it's swollen even. But we'll take 'a little better' any time.

I know he's really not out of the woods yet, and I also know these spells are going to become more frequent and possibly even more severe until finally one takes him from us. We've been told by several doctors he is a 'living legend' and by all rights should not be with us any more, but he has a strong will to live - not to mention he's stubborn as can be! Which, when you are 78 y/o and in horrible health, is a good thing.

Both my dad's sisters will be there tomorrow, so that should be interesting. But we'll be there, watching out for him and taking turns visiting with him.

Once again, thank you so much for your continued prayers and good thoughts. I saw results of them today - both in my dad's small improvement and my own calmness - and am grateful more than you will ever know. Thank you, Thank you! And many blessings to you, Becky

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Update on Dad

Hi there! Sorry I haven't been able to post earlier - it's been an interesting day! If parts of this don't make sense to you or if I horribly mis-spell words - I'm sorry, put it down to exhaustion!

My dad isn't doing well. He's in critical condition. The infection is still a mystery, but they may possibly have found the source - just too early to tell. He had a blockage from damage from previous radiation for prostate cancer (10-15 years ago) which was preventing him from urinating. There were 150 cc's (approx. 5 ounces) of urine in his bladder that he couldn't pass. They cannot put him to sleep as the risks are too great, so they gave him a milder sedative and did a procedure to send a little camera up there, and stretched the tube so urine can pass through it. This could possibly explain some other kidney related problems he's been having - we are not sure.

He had a heart arrhythmia (sp?) last night. His BP continues to be very low. He is on meds for the infection, for the low BP, for the heart arrhythmia, and I don't know what else. He is confused and while he knows he feels really bad, he doesn't understand why he has to be in the hospital. To be quite honest, I am not convinced he will ever return home. But they are really working hard on him.

My dad's youngest sister, who is only 7 years older than me, came and spent most of the day with us, and we always find a lot to talk about. Another visiter was Rev. S. who is a retired pastor who does hospital visits for the church that I went to when I was a child. He occasionally visits with my dad when he's outside in the yard at home, and somehow he always knows when my dad is in the hospital. Rev. S. and I have had some interesting conversations over the last few years, and today was no different.

You see, as a born again Christian, it is my belief that when I leave this body, this shell that holds my spirit dies, my soul, the real "ME" will immediately be in heaven with the Father in heaven who made me and who loves me beyond measure. I choose to believe that if you believe what the bible says, ask Jesus into your heart and ask forgiveness from your sins, once you die, then you will really begin to live as you were never able to live here on this earth! And Rev. S. and I had a nice talk about that today because I know my dad may not be able to hold out much longer. He is tired, and his body is battered and bruised and exhausted. And while I will miss him and will grieve for my loss, I am ready to let him go, because I know that I will see him again, and we will walk together, we will talk and tell jokes together, and we will be together forever. I love him enough to be ready, when that time comes, to tell him goodbye for a little while.

And what peace having that belief and that knowledge gives this daughter of two fathers!

Blessings friends, and thanks once again for the comments, good thoughts and prayers! Becky

Wordless Wednesday - February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday Courtesy of French Lique, Texas

Theme - Children

Bailey "But Mommy, I'm really, really hungry"

Bessie "Daddy's coming, Daddy's coming!"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

From DR to ER!

We barely got my dad into the car - with help of my nephew - and had to get the nurses to help us get him into a wheelchair and into the Dr. office. They took a look at him and called an ambulance to bring him across the street to the hospital. We've been here in ER since about 2:30. They have told us:

He had a 102 + fever, and it's down to 99 or thereabouts
He has an infection, but labs aren't in yet so we don't know what or where
He is sound asleep, snoring like a freight train, and that's good
The dr's are looking at his charts and will be in soon to talk to us

When is soon? We had no lunch - again - and my mom is exhausted. So am I for that matter. But we'll be here as long as necessary. Because that's what you do.

Thanks to all of you who have left comments and good thoughts for us. You have no idea how much they mean! (And Sue, I'm honored to be your first blog comment - thank you!)

I'll keep you posted. Thanks again, Becky

Reasons and Excuses

Just a quick note to let you know I haven't disappeared again, my time is just taken up with more important things.

My dad has been in bad health for years, and has had everything from prostate cancer, heart attacks, triple heart bypass, aorta bypass, diabetes and on and on. Both my parents are now 78 y/o and with my dad's declining health, they need me more and more. I have one brother who is useless (actually worse than useless, but we won't go there!) and so I am IT when it comes to helping them. I do have two wonderful aunts (my mom's older sister and my dad's youngest sister) who help out with running errands and taking my dad for blood work, etc., but they (my parents) count on me to be at all Dr. appointments, etc.

My dad is having kidney problems now, damage caused by drugs he has been taking to help keep fluid from building up around his heart. Chronic congestive heart failure is another of his medical problems. So, yesterday we were at his primary Dr.'s office from about 10:35 AM until 5:05 PM, trying to find out why he's been feeling so poorly the last few days. One thing - his kidney function has declined in just two weeks, so today we are back out to visit his kidney specialist.So, these are my reasons for not posting much right now.

Hopefully we can get him straightened out for a while, until the next time - and there will be a next time. Those 'next times' are getting closer and closer together, though. If you are a praying person, I would truly appreciate your prayers for my parents and myself. Being caregiver to failing elderly parents is the hardest job I've ever encountered!

And thank you so much for continuing to read and visit, even though I'm not doing very much right now! Blessings, Becky

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sweet Cottage Giveaway!!!

Becky (another one, not me!) at Sweet Cottage Dreams is having a great giveaway with a sachet pillow, relaxing CD's, embroidered towel, a homemade pennant/bunting/banner, a vintage apron and more! Check her out and enter if you want a chance to win! Blessings friends! Becky