Monday, September 28, 2009

Nothing Much . . . and a new favorite author!

That's exactly what I did today! I mean, I picked up and put away and straightened and 'nested' a bit. We played a couple of games of skip-bo (so far I am in the lead, only time will tell who is the week's 'grand champion'), and one very long hand of double-15 dominoes. I read a bit, and played on the laptop some (thank goodness for free wi-fi!), and worked on a little crafting project.

I made hubby a sandwich for lunch and chili dogs for dinner, then washed up the handful of dishes afterwards. This camper is a dish washing free zone, which means we use paper or plastic about 97% of the time. I had about half a dozen spoons, a couple of forks and knives, and a couple of small pans to wash. That was it!

So now I'm watching DWTS (Dancing With The Stars) much to hubby's disappointment. After all, there IS a football game on somewhere! But in a few minutes I'm going to shut this thing down and start reading a new book.

Have you ever read anything by Mary Kay Andrews??? She's a Georgia girl, and the first book of hers that I read was her newest "Deep Dish" and I laughed the whole time I was reading it, so I got on eBay and ordered 3 more. I'm one of those people who likes to keep her books and read and re-read them if they are good, so I'll have a bunch of new books to add to my library. (Side note - if you are into the Food Network or cooking shows, etc. you will love this one, but if you are a Southerner, you'll love it, too!)

Savannah Blues was great, too, although the language was a bit rough for my tastes. Savannah Breeze is a follow-up to 'blues' but I haven't been able to get into it because of one of the story lines - aging grandparents, meds, hospitals - sound a bit familiar??? Too close to home for me to read right now. I'll do it later, though. Soooooo, I'm about to start another of her books - Little Bitty Lies - and I haven't even read an excerpt or anything, so we'll see how it goes. If it is anywhere near as good as Deep Dish or Savannah Blues, I am sure I'll love it!

So, nothing much going on, and that's a really good thing! We may do some riding around tomorrow, and Wed. I'll be going down to get my mom and bring her up here for a few days. I'll check back in soon! Becky

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Settled . . .

Yes, we are 'settled in' for the week. The lake is lovely (although a bit high) and not as muddy as I feared it would be after all the recent rain. The skies are blue with skiffs of white clouds and strong breezes which should calm overnight. The pic above is from our trip here in June, but the view is almost exactly the same since we are only one campsite higher than before. I'll post pics tomorrow - promise! B.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Water . . .

After the last three to four dry, drought-ridden years, I'm really glad to see the rain . . . really I am ! But there comes a point when you begin to form mold in weird places from all the moisture, and it just gets yucky!

As most of you have probably been seeing in the media, many parts of northern Georgia have been flooded from all the rain - some areas had fifteen plus inches of rain within a 36 hour period. Almost a dozen people lost their lives. Hundreds lost their homes, and that doesn't even count the people whose homes survived, but are coated with muck and mud and will take much, much work to repair. They are calling this the '500 year flood', and believe me, I hope it's at least another 500 years before the area sees this kind of devastation again.

Luckily, we live in the 'foothills' of the Blue Ridge mountains, and most everything flows downhill from here, so we didn't have any problems at all. Just the wet, humid, all-pervading moisture from lots and lots of rain. Did I tell you my beloved Lake Lanier is almost (-3 feet) back to full pool??? At it's lowest point it was over 17 feet below full pool, so this rain has been a Godsend.

Anyway, we've had a few rain-free days, but they have been cloudy and muggy for the most part. I did get the camper straight, our bed made, and most everything packed in it and ready for our trip - tomorrow. Or at least that was the plan!

Did I tell you there is rain in the forecast? Yep, one to three inches tomorrow and tomorrow night with thunderstorms throughout the afternoon and evening. I know. I went HERE and did the hour by hour forecast for the next couple of days. Rain, and lots of it!

Have you ever tried to put a pop-up camper (aka tent trailer, folding trailer, etc.) up in torrential rains? I have, and trust me, it's NO FUN!!! Especially when you have two little doxies whining and barking their heads off wanting you to let them out of the truck. And let's not mention the fact I've still got some cough and mild sniffles from my case of the crud.

So, given all the info we have at our disposal concerning the rain, and given the fact that hubby really, really, really wants to watch the Georgia game (GO DAWGS!) from the comfort of his own recliner tomorrow night, we will be postponing our trip by one day. Sunday the forecast is for mostly sunny. And given the choice, spending a rainy, stormy night at home in my bed instead of in a soggy camper is a no brainer! We'll still have 7 nights up there in the mountains, cool, fall-ish, wonderful nights where rain is (so far) not a part of the forecast. Hallelujah!

Have a great weekend, folks! Becky

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Beginnings . . .

For the last two plus years my life has been primarily taken up with my parents. There were almost weekly doctors appointments, emergency room visits or hospital stays with my dad. When I wasn't caring for them, or doing the basic necessities at my own home, I was stuck in depression. Thankfully I found my way out of that boggy mire just a couple of months ago.

During these last couple of years, I didn't feel comfortable going more than two to three hours away from home, so vacations have been - while nice - not our usual types of vacations. And we've cancelled several longer distance trips just because I couldn't be that far from home.

The last 9 months have been the worst. My dad's condition worsened continuously, and watching him decline was awful! Having him leave us and go to his new eternal home in heaven has been mostly joyful because it was so much harder seeing him so uncomfortable and in pain, but also because I know I will see him again one day, and we'll never have to part again.

Oh, I've had my moments, several with my Mama when we would be talking, take each other's hands and share a teary smile. During the funeral service I cried a good bit, but it was mostly good, cleansing tears. And since that time I've had a moment or two alone - one being in the shower this morning. Just doing normal things without having to worry about the phone ringing with an emergency is such a bittersweet relief!

My mom is back home, and ready to start her life over. They were married over 59 years and lived in the same house all that time. My dad has always been kind of 'high maintenance', and the last few years even more so, so she is ready for a little independence. Just today her sister came to get her and they went 'gallivanting' around town. She has already dealt with Social Security, medical insurance, life insurance, and several other business issues. She knows what her income will be, and she's fine with that. For one thing she won't have hundreds of dollars of meds coming out of her income each month, so that will be a help.

My nephew has supposedly found 'a place' and has started moving out his things, with the final move being on Friday. Once he is out, my mom is going to have a friend and former neighbor come and change out her dead-bolt locks so my nephew won't be able to come in any more without her letting him in. He is beginning to understand the concept of "This is MY house and belongings, not YOURS!!!"

I've been sick for a week, but am doing better each day - I know it's been the flu, but worsened because I was just totally physically and emotionally exhausted. I finished up the regular laundry today and only have the dogs beds and my 'sick' blanket left to wash. Hubby and I pulled the camper out of the garage today, and got it opened up so that I can start straightening it and making beds tomorrow.

It had been our plan to be camping now, but after my dad passed away we called and postponed the trip for a week. We leave on Saturday morning and will be there until the following Sunday morning. We'll only be a couple of hours away, so around the middle of next week I'll run down to pick up my mom and her fishing stuff so she can join us for half the week. She loves fishing and hasn't gotten to do much this last couple of years.

Once we get back and I get things back to normal from the trip, I hope to figure out how I want MY days to go from now on! I know one thing, I've got to clean my house from top to bottom and back again, clean closets, reorganize, do the pre-Christmas window and carpet cleaning that didn't get done last year. I also want to get back to sharing more crafty and foodie things here on my blog. Of course Mama will be here visiting with us more, and I'll still be going to help her run errands and do things she needs help with - that's a given!

It's going to be odd to have more 'free' time on my hands - free meaning without being afraid to start something because I'll have to stop and go to my parents or the hospital. It's going to be fun, with an edge of bittersweet. But Daddy will always be right here with me, of that I have no doubt!

Specific prayer requests:

  1. Peace and a feeling of security for my mom as she lives alone for the first time in her 79 years!!!

  2. An easy transition for my nephew, and that he gets a job and really TRIES to make a life for himself.

  3. Rest for hubby and me as we spend next week at the lake, relaxing, eating and playing games.

Thank you once again for all the prayers and sweet encouragements. You folks are the best! Blessings to you all! Becky

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Just so you aren't worried . . .

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, or been kidnapped by aliens or anything that drastic. My dad's service on Tuesday was lovely - a fitting tribute to his life. After the service, about a dozen of us - family and friends - met in Alpharetta at the Varsity to celebrate his life even more. We put several tables together and all sat around talking about Larry stories - I think he would have loved it! That was one of his all time favorite meals - two chili dogs, onion rings and a coke.

Anyway, on Wednesday hubby and I put Mama into the car and went riding up in NW Georgia. We had a great time, and she really relaxed. We found a patch of sassafrass plants, and I got in there and pulled up enough for her to make her a pot or two of tea.

As the day progressed, I started getting a sore, drainy throat. I was coughing like crazy. About 2 AM I threw up all over the living room carpet and my house robe. I'm feeling better now, but still weak. It was kind of neat having Mama here to baby me a bit.

Hubby just left a while ago to take her home. My nephew called and he's been giving away some of Daddy's things to his buddies, and 'cleaning', which means throwing things away he most likely doesn't have any clue what they are. Now, my mama is a pack rat, but in some odd way she's an organized packrat. She knows what is in most every stack. Anyway, it sounded like my nephew is 'staking a claim' and letting her know he's taking over, except he's not! Please pray for my mom to be strong with him, and for him to listen to her and be understanding that it's HER house, and her junk! It's not his to give away or throw away.

Okay, I need to get off of here - it's thundering pretty good out there. I'll be back in a day or two to catch up on all my blogs, etc. Thank you each and every one for the prayers and good thoughts during these days - they are most appreciated! Becky

PS - T, the strawberries came, and they look beautiful, and hubby ate a couple and said they were delicious. Maybe before long I'll feel like eating real food, lol! You really are too sweet. B.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Okay, Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to post again for a few days, but I just had to share tonight with you!

The visitation was wonderful! It was just the kind of time Daddy would have loved - lots of people, lots of love, lots of hugging, lots of laughing and lots of reminiscing, and did I say lots of laughing! Oh, there were tears, but I'm shocked to say I had a really good time! I saw people I haven't seen in many years, and met people I've only heard about. I found out one of the girls who I grew up with - sang with in church when we were teens - isn't going to survive the cancer she's been fighting for a long time now, and will probably be joining Daddy soon. I got to see so many people, and hug so many that I thought I might never see again. Miss Lucy is 90, and isn't looking so well, but she wouldn't have missed coming tonight. There were so many! What a joyous celebration of Daddy's life!

But then, there were the incredible gifts of you friends! All the comments from Sue, Lissy Lou, Aimee, Linda, Betty (razorbackfan) and others. The beautiful e-card from Helga (I love Jacque Lawson cards!). I am so blessed to be a part of this blogging world!

And Fay - the plant is beautiful! Looks like a schefflera (sp?) but I'm not sure, and it's shiny and green and at least 3 - 3 1/2 feet tall. I'll bring it home and try not to kill it - It would look beautiful in the living room. Thank you so much! I love you friend!

Mildred - ah, Mildred! How wonderful that you got to know my Daddy! He loved selling those plants and sitting there talking to folks! I'm so glad you got to know him. The flowers are beautiful! A large basket just full of stocks, snapdragons, burgundy mums, lilies, even little ornamental peppers - just beautiful! Thank you! When you can, I want us to meet sometime! Maybe we can meet at Sugar Pike Junction for lunch some day!

Then we got home, and wow! My sweet friends Nancy and Jane - you girls are the best, and I love you, too! The mums are beautiful, and huge, and I cried when I saw them. We forgot to turn the front porch lights on before we left, and I think Wayne almost tripped over them as he went down to turn them on for Mama and me. The mums are the prettiest color of a dark rosy not pink, not burgundy color, and there are few that are fully opened, and dozens and dozens of them will be blooming over the next weeks. I've got the mums sitting in the front window by the door so I'll see them every time I come in and out, but one day I'll plant them in a special spot in my garden. I think I know just the spot, close to the driveway, but up front where everyone can see them.

There may have been others - I don't know - but I didn't get a chance to see all the flowers tonight. I was too busy hugging and laughing and being shocked at how much older everyone has gotten. All I know is this - I am one blessed woman, and so thankful for each and every one of you!

Thank you for your continued prayers. Tomorrow will be a long, emotional day, but after that we start learning to live without Daddy, without all the appointments, doctors, hospital rooms, worry, etc. On Wednesday hubby and I are putting Mama in the car and taking her riding up in the mountains. Just to get away and clear our heads. I'll probably take her home Thursday, and let her start living again. I think it will be harder for her than she realizes yet, but I'll be there to help her through.

It's late, I'm tired, talk to y'all in a day or two, Becky

A Short Break

I will not be posting for the next two or three days. Please continue to remember my family in your prayers. I leave you with this obituary that I wrote. Bless you all, and thank you! Becky


Larry O’Brien Forrester, 78, lifetime resident of Cherokee County died on September 12, 2009 after a long battle with heart disease. Larry was the son of the late Clyde and Cliffie Cook Forrester. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Janie Medley Forrester, daughter and son-in-law Becky and Wayne Garrison of Cumming, son Tim Forrester of Canton, two grandsons, Gabriel Forrester and Dustin Forrester, both of the Canton area. He is also survived by his sisters and brothers-in-law Linda and Curt Gillespie of New Castle, New Hampshire and Ann and Mark Rogers of Alpharetta, Georgia.

Larry began driving trucks by the age of 9, sitting on a coke carton or bag of chicken feed to see over the hood of the truck. Trucking was his passion, and he logged over a million and a half miles without an accident. After retiring from the trucking business he worked in the local growing industry, eventually having his own small greenhouse business in Hickory Flat. He was always willing to lend a helping hand, and much loved by all who knew him. He will be sorely missed.

Services will be held at Darby Huey Funeral Home in Canton, with visitation Monday night, September 14th from 6pm until 8pm, and the going home service Tuesday September 15th at 2 pm, with Rev. Charles Davis and Rev. Claude Smithmier officiating. Interment will follow at the Hickory Flat cemetery.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


It's been a rather unusual day, but not in a bad way. You never know how you will 'behave' when you are planning a loved one's going home service, but it all went rather smoothly and calmly. Of course most of that came from Mama and me talking everything over many times during the last months.

We are doing well. Tired, and a little befuddled, but otherwise fine.

For those of you who are interested, here are the details:

Larry Forrester
Darby Huey Funeral Home, Canton, Georgia
Visitation Monday night 9/14/09 6pm to 8pm
Services at the funeral home Tuesday @ 2pm, followed by burial at historic Hickory Flat Cemetery, Hickory Flat Community, Canton, Georgia

My specific prayer requests for right now are this: That my brother (Tim) will behave himself and not show his sorry side at the funeral home or cemetery, and that he doesn't bring his meth addict girlfriend; that my nephews (Gabe and Dustin) are strong and learn from this huge life lesson; and strength for each day for all of us, especially Mama and me.

Everyone - Fay, Mildred, Jane, Nancy, Teresa, K-Sue and all of you, thank you! I am more grateful than you know! Becky

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another Night - UPDATED

Well, he made it through last night and today, but we don't see how. He is now showing signs of pneumonia in his right lung. They don't think he can hold out much longer, but they don't know my daddy. We left early today. He's struggling to breathe and choking a bit, and while they are keeping him out of pain, it's so hard to see him struggling so, and Mama didn't want to stay and see him that way. It was her choice, and I respect that. They are taking good care of Daddy, now I need to take care of Mama.

When we got there this morning his eyes were open and I started talking to him. They think the strokes have affected his left brain, so his right side is weakened as well as his speech. I kissed his forehead and talked to him. Once again I told him it was okay to rest and go home now. Yesterday I don't think he understood me, but today he had tears in his un-seeing eyes.

We didn't get much sleep last night, and I'm not sure if tonight will be much better since once again we'll be waiting for the phone to ring. I'm exhausted, Mama is exhausted, Daddy is exhausted. Please pray for a quick passage for Daddy, and rest for Mama and me. Thank you so much for your encouraging words and prayers!

Fay - you have no idea how much your words meant to me today! I love you, friend! Maybe when this is over I can come down and visit with you again. You know I would love to, but haven't felt like I could leave here for a long time.

K-Sue, Lissy Lou, Aimee, Mildred, Tara, Nancy, Jane, Helga and all of you - thank you so much! I am one blessed woman!


Update: He is gone. My daddy is walking the golden streets in heaven, and rejoicing with loved ones who have gone before. Praise the Lord!!! I have this strange mixture of sadness and joy, but I am okay. Mama and I can rest now. We'll be making arrangements tomorrow afternoon after a morning of calling friends and family and trying to relax a bit.

Mildred, I think you prayed him into heaven! I got your comment about ten minutes before I got the phone call - Thank you! We've got to meet some time soon!

Thank you each and every one for your prayers during this time! Please continue to remember us in the upcoming days.

Larry O'Brien Forrester
October 11, 1930 - September 12, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Not Much Longer Now

A short post because I'm just too tired and emotionally drained for much. When we got to the hospice house this morning, the nurse met us with the news it wouldn't be much longer now. She said he was close, but could linger on for a day or so, but probably no more than that. Mama and I and my aunt sat with him and said our goodbyes, not for him, but for us. I don't believe he is there any longer. The vessel is there, but the spirit is gone - at least that is my belief.

I held his hand and rubbed his arm and talked to him and told him it was okay to let go and go home where he can rest, that he has earned his rest. I told him Mama and I would miss him like crazy, but we would be okay. We would never forget him, and we will see him some day in heaven. We will be fine, and it is okay to rest now.

His condition did not change for the whole day.

We came home about 7:30 - Mama wanted to come and try to rest. If things change, or if he goes home, they will call me and we'll go back to the hospice house to meet the funeral home people. I called them this afternoon, so they know they may get a call soon.

My mother and I have all the plans in our heads. We've talked to ministers for the service, to friends to be pall bearers, and know what clothes he will be buried in. All that is left is picking out the casket and communicating our plans to the funeral directors. It's just a matter of time now.

Each and every one of you are precious to me, as are your prayers and sweet words of encouragement. Thank you! Becky

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just a little update . . .

My dad was 'different' today. No better, no worse, just different. He was more 'awake' than the last couple of days, but his mind seemed almost child-like. I'm sure that is a result of the strokes. Two or three times, when I would sit on the bed beside him, and tell him who it was, he would try to reach up and hug me and chuckle or smile really big. One time he said 'it's you' with a smile. We fed him liquids with a spoon - a few drops of Gatorade, coke, water and watermelon juice. I washed his face with a warm cloth, and he seemed to like that.

He also had lots of visitors. Besides my mom and me, there was his youngest sister, his oldest and best friend and his wife, and a family who used to live 2 houses up from them. Sometimes he would know folks, sometimes he wouldn't.

I lost it so bad one time, I had to go sit outside to try to get control of my emotions. My aunt came while I was out there, and I told her I was thinking of getting my Trikke out of the car and ride in the parking lot - I needed to do something physical. She told me to do that, and I did. I had a nice ride in the parking lot and around the sidewalks. I even got some interest in my 'machine'. It did make me feel better, too, and better able to cope when I went back inside.

I've made a new friend there at the hospice house. She is a patient, and her name is Evelyn. She is so sweet, very child-like, and she has a baby doll she just loves on all the time. I stop and chat with her from time to time, and she's so funny. This afternoon she wanted to know where I was going and I told her outside to sit in the sun for a while. I said it was too cold in there and she said "ain't that the truth", and just laughed! Another time she looked up at me and said "is it you, is it really you?" and I said it's me, Becky and she smiled and said "oh yes, Becky". I look forward to my chats with her when she is sitting out in the hallway.

Each day is different in some way. Some better, some worse, some more emotional than others. Tomorrow my aunt is going to take my mama home so she can pick up some things she needs, and a neighbor is bringing her back when she comes to visit my dad after work. While she is gone, I am going to come home and just crash for a while. I really need a couple of hours at home alone to decompress and de-stress, and maybe even vegetate on the sofa for a while. I love my mama, but it will be nice to have a little time alone, and she understands that completely. It will be a nice break for both of us.

Thanks - as always - for your prayers and encouraging words. Hugs and kisses to you all, Becky

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


My dad is worse. He is having strokes now. We are just waiting for God to send His angels to take Daddy home. He is in little or no pain, and as comfortable as he can be.

Today was okay. The big thing was that I got some answers, and we had our chance to talk to the folks in charge of the organization that runs the hospice house and in-home hospice care.

I told you that on Monday I was on the phone all day trying to get someone to come see about him, and I finally did get someone who heard the desperation in my voice, and we got him back to the facility so he can be cared for the way he needs to be. Yesterday (Tuesday) morning I called the main desk to check on Daddy's condition. The 'unit director', Lisa answered the phone, barely answered my question and then right out of the blue said "It was my understanding your dad's sisters wanted him to go home". My answer to her was "it wasn't their call to make - now or ever"!

The thing that bothered me was that I thought it was possible that one of my dad's sisters might have done something behind our back, but I wasn't sure, and didn't want to say anything until I found out for sure. My mother and I have joint and equal durable power of attorney in my dad's health care, and that was the way HE wanted it. I just wanted to make clarify that point. This afternoon I had the chance to ask one of the ladies who was involved in forcing us to take Daddy home, and she assured me that was not the case, and that apparently Lisa was trying to cover her own rear end. And I was so glad that my aunt was not involved.

We also got to talk to the Clinical Director who I talked with on Monday night, and another lady. We told them how we felt, and how poorly things were handled. We also told them we just wanted to see them change their procedures so that no other family ever has to feel that they don't have any options. That was how we felt, what we were lead to believe. He had to go home, period, no other options existed. Now we know better, and we hope this will make them change how they do things.

So, I got the answers I needed, and the knot that had been in my stomach for days now, has diminished greatly. The pain in my heart is still there, but that will be there a long, long time. But I will be strong and continue on, because that is what my Daddy would expect of me.

Thanks for your continued prayers and encouraging words. I am blessed to call you friends! Becky

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Little Gifts

Well, I don't know where to start. There are a couple of things I don't want to go into on here until I get my facts straight - people read this blog, ya know! And I don't want to go telling things until I know the truth. Suffice it to say, I'll share it all with you later. The biggie is that my dad is settled into his room at the hospice house and is comfortable. He is being given pain meds and is pretty much out of it all the time now, which is a blessing in my eyes after seeing him in such pain in recent days.

When we got there this morning, everyone was SO glad to see us (yeah, right!) and treated my mom and me like royalty, and even offered us a guest tray for dinner tonight. We declined and told them we would be leaving within the hour - much, I am sure, to their delight!

The thing is, I have not once raised my voice, told anything other than the truth, or been a mean, nasty b*tch to get my dad readmitted to the hospice house. I just finally got someone to listen to me, who cared, and actually HEARD what I was saying. I think Susie heard the desperation in my voice last night.

We also found someone else who cared today in the person of one of the hospice physicians. We had not seen him before, but he was very nice and really listened to us, and when he left he said two things: 1) don't worry about him, he will be cared for and kept comfortable and will not be sent home again, and 2)I know you've already talked to Susie and she's had a talk with the folks here, but I'm upset about how you've been treated and I'll have a talk with them, too - enduring us to the staff there even more, I'm sure.

Oh, and before I move on, it didn't hurt any that this young doctor was drop dead GORGEOUS!!! Never mind that I'm probably old enough to be his mother and happily married - I almost asked him to run away with me! :o)

But although my dad was pretty much out of it all day, my mom and I each had a little gift from God today. First, my mother went and sat down next to him and reached out and touched his arm. He woke up, looked and her and said "You scared the piss out of me!" - a remark so very much like my dad! But shortly after, he was right back 'asleep'. My mama cracks up laughing every time she tells someone about it, and she's told everybody that she's talked to since then.

And my little gift was so special, and something I will remember forever! As I've told you, the hospice house has Sasha the hospice puppy, and she remembered me and was SO glad to see me! It could have something to do with the fact I gave her a rawhide bone last week, but I'm not sure! So, I took Sasha into my dad's room and put her on his bed. He looked up and started grinning. I moved her up to where he could pet her, and she licked his arm, and was very sweet for him. I said "Do you believe she remembered me?" and my dad, very typically sarcastic, said "Well, who wouldn't?" and reached and patted my arm, just a chuckling! I leaned over and kissed his forehead and said "I love you, Daddy!" And he was just smiling, but in less than a minute he was back in his fetal position and out of it. Folks, that was a gift from God! And I know they will be fewer and farther between until he finally goes home to heaven, but I am most sincerely and deeply grateful for that gift!

So, all in all it was a decent day. Tomorrow or the next day I expect to see the clinical director (Susie) and also expect to have a pow-wow with all the office workers at the facility who railroaded us into taking my dad home (and who did everything within their power to avoid us today) so that I can find out a few things and straighten out a few things with them. The main one being - no one (and I mean NO ONE) other than my mother and I is responsible for making decisions regarding my dad's care. And that's in writing, signed, sealed, notarized and legally binding, so there!

Sorry about that, but that's the part I don't want to talk about yet until I get my facts straight. Forget I said that last paragraph! :o}

And look for the little gifts, friends - they are there, we just have to be aware of them! Blessings, Becky

Monday, September 7, 2009

Long Day - Short Post

Hi Folks! It's been a long day, so this will be a short post. As of right about now, my dad is back in the hospice facility. His condition has declined rapidly, and today he got to the point where he couldn't swallow his pills, and was pretty much out of it. Also, when we tried to move him, he hurt just to be touched.

It took me ALL DAY on the phone before I finally got a nurse about 6:30 pm who really listened to me and heard what I was saying "We feel like we've been let down by this organization and have been hung out to dry and left with no support and we don't know what to do". Theresa heard me, and once she got off the phone with me, she called her boss - the clinical director for this area - who then called me and she got an ear full. Actually she got both ears full and then some! I can almost guarantee that by this time tomorrow there is a nurse and a case manager who will be wishing they had done a better job of caring for my dad!

My mom is on her last leg. None of us got much sleep last night, and she's just exhausted. I have her at my house now and hopefully she can (and I can) get a decent nights sleep before we go back over there tomorrow.

It can't be much longer now. My dad is skin and bones, his cheeks are caved in, and he's pretty much out of it. When he's not out of it, he's in pain, so I had rather him be out of it than in pain.

Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers. They are what is keeping me going - the prayers and knowing I will not have any regrets when this is all over with. Off to sit with mama for a few minutes and then to bed. Blessings, Becky

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Listings and Let's Get Physical

As soon as I published this post, I got a phone call from my mother. Just this afternoon she can tell a big difference in my dad's condition, he isn't drinking as much, and can't get comfortable. She wants him to go back to the hospice house for his 5 days 'respite' care. She does not want to be there with him at home when he passes. Please pray for her and for my dad. I'll be going up there first thing tomorrow morning unless I need to go sooner. Thank you! Becky


Hi Folks! I decided to stay at home again today. I think Mama and Daddy were looking forward to a day at home alone, but with maybe a couple of visitors from time to time. And I needed another day. I’ll be back down there tomorrow for a while, though.

Since I stayed at home, I’ve added a few listings to my Etsy shop! I have some vintage cookbooks, cross stitch pattern books, new sachets and a set of vintage 1940’s navy uniform buttons. Be sure to pay me a visit!

Also, this was the first official weekend for our new Big Creek Greenway. I have been so VERY excited about this, and couldn’t wait to get my Trikke out there on the trail! So, we went this morning for a while. September 1st was the official opening of the greenway for phases 2 and 3, with phase 1 expected to be open later this year. Eventually - about 1 1/2 to 2 years from now - the greenway will end about 3 miles from our house (big smile here) but for now we have to drive to the temporary end that is about 7-8 miles from here.

The greenway is a 12 foot wide path with some sections of concrete and some of boardwalk. There are benches situated along the trail, along with trash cans and doggie poop stations. Hubby walked today and I took my Trikke. He probably walked about 2 to 2 1/2 miles and I Trikked about 4 miles or a little more. It's amazing how quickly you find out what horrible shape you are in! We plan to go back early tomorrow morning before I head back to my parents. I hope to do more distance next time.

Next picture - Big Creek.

The only problem I had with the trail wasn't with the trail at all, but with the people on it! People would stop across both lanes and chat, leave their bikes or strollers on the path and go walking on the grass, and in general block traffic. I learned in the first grade that you 1) keep right and 2) if you are stopped, pull over to one side! Let's keep it moving, folks! :o)

I had several people stop me and ask what kind of scooter that was, and where they could find them. I'm a huge fan of my Trikke, and love the full body exercise that I get when I ride it! And the best part - it's so much FUN!!! So when people ask, I'll talk about it all day long!

That's my Trikke in the next picture, off to the lefthand side.

So, that's it for today. Don't forget to visit my Etsy shop and see if there's anything you can't live without. Once again I appreciate the prayers of those of you who are lifting us up and/or putting us on your church's prayer list. Have a great Labor Day tomorrow! Becky

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Stay At Home Day

I stayed at home today. I really needed a day to rest and catch up around the house, and Daddy is 'okay' and Mama got her errands run, and she told me to stay home with hubby.

My day started very early this morning. I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep (4 am or so) and got up, came in here and played on the computer a little while and went back to bed, but once again - no sleep. Then I realized I was hungry, so just before 5 am I got up and made a bowl of cheese grits and got a glass of orange juice and came in here in the office and played while I ate, then went back to bed. I remember laying down sometime around 5:25. The next thing I knew it was 10:13 am. I'd slept almost 5 hours, and that's the latest I've slept in YEARS!

I got all the laundry washed, but one load needs to be put into the dryer still, and I got the dishes washed - mostly plastic stuff since I kept most everything else in the dishwasher and ran it from time to time. I also worked on some crafty things, washed and re-filled the 3 hummingbird feeders, and cooked dinner - pan fried chicken with a Parmesan crust, swiss potato galette, and green beans. Yum!

Now I'm about to finish up a set of 3 sachets I'm working on, and will probably then go to bed. For some reason I'm tired.

I talked to my mom a few minutes ago, and Daddy has had a pretty good day. He had a dizzy spell last night, but she didn't call the hospice hotline because it was over very quickly and he seemed okay. She called me instead. She's so used to picking up the phone and calling me, it's a hard habit to break. And that's okay.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, friends! Becky

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Pretty Decent Day

I spent the afternoon with my dad again while my mother was finishing up her first of the month shopping and bill paying. My aunt (Daddy's youngest sister) was there with me part of the time, and we were alone part of the time. Daddy was pretty perky early on, but the nurse came for a check-up and changed his messy diaper and bed, and he was pretty worn out after that.

My aunt and I moved a shepherds hook with bird feeders on it to where he can see it outside the front door, and I made fresh hummingbird nectar, washed out a feeder and hung it where he could see that, too. Within an hour, the hummers were visiting that feeder, and he enjoyed watching that.

I did laundry and folded clothes for my mom, which she appreciated a lot. One less thing she has to do. I would do more if she would let me, and I believe that will come. When I got ready to leave, she hugged around me and said "What would I do without you?" (a first ever!) and I said "Well, I don't think you'll ever have to worry about that", and she smiled a watery smile.

Since she's gotten her errand running done, I may stay home tomorrow. It will be the first day in two weeks I've had a break, and I really need it - not to mention I'm ready for a home cooked meal, and not just catching what I can on the run. Hubby would like to have that, too!

I was much better today after my meltdown last night. I think I just had to expel all the tension and stress I'd been feeling, and I'm a cryer anyway, so that was the easiest way for me to let it out. It wasn't the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last time through this journey we are on!

Thanks once again for the sweet e-mails, comments and abundant prayers. Special thanks to Fay, Teresa, K-Sue, Helga, Jane and Nancy. I am so blessed that the cup is overflowing, and I am grateful! Have a wonderful holiday weekend, Becky

PS - listen to the words of the two songs I've got on here today - they are just beautiful! B.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Update on Dad

Hi Folks! I'm sorry I didn't post yesterday, but when I got home last night I was just exhausted!

Daddy is now home and for the most part comfortable in his hospital bed in the living room. He's had a fair amount of company, and although it wears him out, he wouldn't have it any other way. Because I am once again exhausted, here are excerpts from an e-mail I sent to a couple of friends earlier:


I went and spent a big part of today with him while Mama went to get her hair done and buy groceries. His middle sister left today to go back to New Hampshire, so she came to see him, and a former neighbor and her son came, as did another former neighbor.

On the way there, I stopped at the Waffle House just up the road from them and ordered my breakfast and called Mama to see if she wanted something. She said yes, told me what she wanted, and we hung up. She then called me back. Daddy wanted to know if Janice was there, and if she was, he wanted her - no one else - to make him a sausage and egg sandwich. I talked to Janice and the waitress, and when they brought me the to go orders, they wouldn't let me pay - they had covered breakfast for all three of us.

When the second former neighbor came, I went out on the front porch so they could talk. They talked a minute and I heard him say "Well Larry, I need to know how you feel about God," and he went on to tell him what he believed and he and daddy talked a long time. I didn't listen - it wasn't my conversation to hear, but I know where Daddy stands in that respect. When he left, I hugged him and thanked him, and told him it took a mighty good friend to ask that question.

I firmly believe Daddy was seeing angels today. He would doze off, then open his eyes wide and look at the ceiling and mumble something and go back to sleep. I could never understand what he was saying except for an occasional 'uh-huh' or 'okay'.

When mama got home, I helped her a bit then came home. I always call her when I get into the subdivision to let her know I made it okay. Daddy answered. I told him who it was, and he said "I know!" And I told him to let Mama know I got home okay (she was in the garden) and he said okay. I said "I love you Daddy" and he said "I love you too. I enjoyed you here today, gal".

Somehow I feel that was the last time I will talk to him, and I lost it - totally. I sat in the car, crying and crying out to God and something made me look up, and I saw 3 hummingbirds fighting over a feeder on my porch. A sign of God's presence, pure and simple. So I lost it again. When I got out of the car, I waved to Wayne to come help me get some things out of the car and take them to the house, and I lost it again with him, and he held me while I cried.

So, here I sit, an emotional mess, but at peace because I know he won't be hurting any more once he's in heaven. Folks, if you don't know where you'll be spending eternity, please get it nailed down with God - He's waiting!

I'm going back up there tomorrow and take Daddy some watermelon and sit with him while Mama runs errands again. It's first of the month and she needs to pay a few bills and such. Her 85 year old sister takes her around town.

Thank you all once again for the prayers. You have no idea how much they are appreciated! Blessings, Becky

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Not a Good Day

This will be a short post, simply because I am physically and emotionally exhausted. My dad's condition has stabilized and Medicare says he has to go home for now. If he gets bad again, he will go back to the hospice. He is happy, and he has sold them a real bill of goods, because every time they ask him how he feels he says he feels fine. He can stand, but he can't walk, and he has a catheter that cannot be removed.

I am happy for him, because I know it is his wish to spend his last days at home, but he needs more care than my mom can provide. But that's not the big problem. The big problem is my mother, and her 'illness'. When I was a kid she kept our house so clean, but somewhere along the way she just stopped. Their house is filthy - I mean, deep, years of dirt on top of years of dirt filthy, and in really bad shape. It is also 59 years old.

I have tried many times to get her to let me help her get it cleaned up, but she won't --- no, I believe she can't throw away what most people call junk. And to make it worse, she worked at a thrift store for a while, and what they wanted to throw away, she brought home with her. And it's just JUNK!!!

We had to leave the hospice house this afternoon, go to my house and get her things, then go to her house and move 3/4 of the furniture out of the living room so they can get a hospital bed in there. Now she is just totally angry because she had to do this and didn't want to. Tomorrow morning I have to go to their home and help her clean because they are bringing the hospital equipment around lunch, and then they are bringing my dad in an ambulance. It's just not a good situation, but it's 'The Rules According to Medicare", and you can't argue with them. Of course as far as my dad's care, there will be a nurse a couple of times a week, and someone to bathe him 3 times a week, which will be a great help.

I may not post tomorrow, as it will be a very long day, and stressful I am sure, and I'm not sure what the next few days may hold. Please keep my parents and myself in your prayers. God has been working this week, and I don't know what purpose this will serve, but I do believe He is holding me in his hands, I just am not feeling it today. I guess that is just the stress and exhaustion. Blessings to you all, Becky