Title (That’s what they asked for)

I’m not sure what this will be about if you want the truth. I thought about something like “When COVID hits home” but that has been covered so much it didn’t interest me enough. I will say however that my youngest son and his family are recovering from it now. My grandson got it from someone at work who came to work even though he “felt bad” that day. Typical in this area even though the hospital is overcrowded and the workers are over tired and overworked. I think I’m glad now that I am retired. I can only imagine what the folks at Hospice are going through right now.

My older son and his wife weren’t able to visit on Mother’s Day last year because they had the virus. Today they are still having some problems from it, but at least they are feeling better. Several people in this building have had it, some have died, and yet everyone is running around without masks and sitting at tables in the activities room in touching distance, chair by chair occupied with the people who have nothing better to do than mind everyone’s business but their own. They are quick to let you know that they don’t gossip though. Just ask any of them.

Okay, no more about that. I’m walking around the apartment using a walking boot now, usually with a walker but in the past couple of days I’m using two canes for short distances. That’s what I call progress. On the other hand the X-rays show a sewing needle is in my left foot. My best guess is that when I fell it went in because it wasn’t there before. Now I’m beginning to feel it working its way back out — fun feeling. I sure hope it pops out soon without having to have the doc working on it again. I’ve been through this process before and it wasn’t much fun.

Most of my time is spent sewing. Barbie is getting a lot of new clothes and I sometimes wish I could fit in them. It would require some serious shrinkage on my part, but it would be fun. Of course I would also have to lose several years as well since most of them are prom type dresses and it has been a long time since my prom days were over.

I got some wonderful news Friday. My granddaughter called to inform me that she is now engaged to her long time boyfriend. I am so happy for them I could bust wide open. She is so beautiful and I only wish they lived closer to me. She comes in occasionally, but with the virus still such a threat we are all trying to stay close to home. And Frankfort is so far away these days. That’s Frankfort, KY in case you are wondering.

That made me remember something my brother said one Sunday during his homily. He mentioned the fact that we grew up in Rome and how excited people would get when they heard that. But then he would explain that it was Rome, KY and the excitement would kinda die out. Kentucky has a lot of famous name towns, Oklahoma, Paris, London, but then we also have Turkey Trot, Pumpkin, and Friendly Village which is now the name of the area we grew up. And these places are all a short drive from here. I wonder if people were homesick for the places they left behind when they named Paris, Rome and London, but that’s one we may never know.

Time for me to get up and stretch my legs out again. I’ll also continue my search for my cable so I can charge the power chair. Might need it again one of these days. Then again, maybe there will be a miracle and I’ll have an energy spurt and be able to walk without any kind of aid again. Now that would be a real miracle for sure!

Just a few Barbie outfits.

I Wonder

What is this world coming to?  I don’t read the paper or watch the news now because I’m not sure I want to know what is going on out there.  It’s getting difficult to keep my head buried in the sand though.  Not much oxygen down here.

I wonder what kind of world my grandchildren will live in.  But my biggest wonder is about my great-grandchildren.  Will they ever have a chance to lie on their backs on a green grassy lawn and watch the clouds changing shapes in the blue sky?  Will they have trees to climb or front porch swings to dream on?  And will they even have air to breathe that won’t choke on?  We’ve done such a wonderful job of destroying everything we touch.  Use it up. repair it, and use it again was once the way of life but now it’s just spend, spend, spend.  Wear it once and throw it out is now the way of life.  And I admit I’m probably more guilty of this than the next person.  I have a small apartment overflowing with things I don’t need.  For that matter some of them are things I don’t even want, just went through the catalog and “had” to have.

I’ve started asking myself if I “NEED” these things or if I just want them.  It is a difficult choice for me because collecting stuff has been my substitute for love that has not been there for a long time.  Someone lets me down and I buy something to fill the empty spot they left.  I find I can’t really count on some of the people I was sure would be there when I need them so I buy something to assuage the pain.  Only the pain remains and is accompanied by guilt for buying more stuff.

A few years ago I wrote a poem I called “No U-hauls” based on something I heard from a friend.  I’m not sure what happened to the notebook I was using at the time, but a few lines were as follows:

I look and look and find the stuff I know  that I must have, But I know for sure as someone said There are no U-Hauls behind a hearse.”

The sun might be coming up soon or it might be cloudy today.  We might be getting rain or snow.  It isn’t up to me there,  But one thing I’m sure of is that morning will come but I wonder what the day will bring.

The Good Old Days!  If only we had known!

January Already With Roses In December

One of my favorite photos is this one, taken in Mid-December next to a garage that provided some shelter from the cold.  Wish I could remember the year, but it was late in the last century.  Imagine being able to say that!  I never thought I would live this long, but the idea of living until another century absolutely never crossed my mind.

I sometimes wish we were still in the twentieth century, especially with all of the problems we are now living through.  Who would ever have thought of something like COVID back then?  Sure, we were just getting some therapies for treating AIDS, but that one was spread by bodily fluids.  Much more easily avoided than air-borne diseases.  After all, we all breathe the air.

I’m kinda in a depressed mood lately.  I fell the Monday before Thanksgiving and broke my left ankle on both sides.  It’s not healing as well as I had hoped but it is healing.  I think I use a bottle of lotion each day because of the itching caused by the boot I’m wearing, but it just seems to get worse each time.  At least I haven’t gone in with a knitting needle this time.  Learned the danger involved with that method when I broke a foot about 25 years ago.  

I am using a knee walker around the apartment most of the time.  The left knee on the walker and pushing off with the right leg.  It works out okay, but sure does get tiring at times.  It makes me remember the old scooters we had when I was a kid.  One foot on the scooter while pushing it around with the other one.  I don’t think any of us ever got tired back then, but that was a year or two ago.  I was younger then.  But like everything else, it could be a lot worse.  Makes me wonder what the next 21 years will be like.  I intend to live to be 100 so that gives me another 21 years.  I just hope the next 21 will not be as bad as the last two have been.

I’m fortunate that most of my hobbies, while making messes of some type, don’t require me to be on my feet much.  MS can be thanked for that.  But again the power chair takes up a lot of space and can be rather destructive at times.  I drive into rooms and back it out of them, hoping I don’t do anything really bad during each maneuver.  BUT, oh yeah, but – – a few days ago I felt the wheels going over something that was behind me.  Had to go over it all before I could see my four bananas squashed all over the carpet!  Let me tell you, it’s not easy to sweep fresh bananas up and even worse trying to get them into the dust pan.  I think I’ll have a wide white streak down the middle of the room for quite some time before I can use the shampooer to clean it all up.  And then there are the remnants of my chicken dinner that I dropped just before reaching the table.  Mashed potatoes and gravy are almost as bad as bananas.  I haven’t had the nerve to try to move soup across the room even though my son brought me some wonderfully smelling home made vegetable beef soup and some potato soup.  I ate those at the kitchen counter while propped against the refrigerator and praying hard that I wouldn’t fall again.  So many things I’ll never take for granted again.

I have been making doll clothes.  Some by hand and some by mach ine now that Mike pulled the machine out for me.  Maybe I can find some of those photos to post here, but no promises.

Well, that is my last two months of 2021 in review.  Here’s hoping 2022 will be kinder to us all.

Just a few of the doll clothes I’ve made these past couple of years. I’ll try to get some of the Barbie photos moved over to the computer later.

ANOTHER DAY AFTER

Made it through another night without incident. Possible exception is that my TV remote is still missing 3 weeks after the poltergeist removed it. And since the sound has gone out on my TV finding the remote isn’t that much of an option now. Therefore, I predict it will turn up where it should be any time now. Thankfully I can still watch movies on the Kindle. If that goes missing I’m going to put out some very large rat traps to see if they will work on poltergeists!

So, today Mike will stop by with a few items from the grocery — if he remembers. My memory isn’t all that great, but I have a reason for that. MS! Only half a brain cell still working, so no dementia or anything to blame for that, unlike the rest of the family — except for one of my cousins who also has MS. My kids are just getting older so…..

Actually, at some time during the night I woke up, felt a bit empty, so I got some fish out of the freezer and cooked it. Tasted pretty good but standing there on one foot became a bit hairy after the first couple of minutes.

I may have forgotten (MS – remember) to mention the taking of vitals during my stay at the hospital. Thinking about food was a good reminder. Someone came in during every meal to check them. They use a probe type thermometer to get my temperature and since I don’t schedule sips of ice water or times to put a bite of breakfast sausage in my mouth we just had to live with what they found. The water incident didn’t have any bad results but when she stuck the thermometer in my mouth the next morning I had just put a bite of sausage in there and you can probably guess what the thermometer got stuck in. By that time the sausage was a nice, warm 100.2 degrees. Treatment for possible infection to me began almost immediately, even though I tried to tell them that was NOT my temp. Just another method of not listening to the patient. Of course the sausage which would have been my proof was no longer available for them to analyze so I received a pneumonia shot — or so they told me, and an instrument of torture called breathing treatment.

Just the way it is. Photo from Pinterest.

The knee walker I had yesterday was defective (brakes wouldn’t release) so I called the provider. They brought me another one, made sure it was all attached and the right height, and all tested. Trouble is, this time the brakes don’t hold at all. And I still haven’t made some knee pads for my boney knee. Where did all the fat that used to be on my knees go? And when? And what part of my anatomy is going to fail me next? I’ll let you know if I suddenly grow horns or…OH, just thought of a very real possibility and I don’t like this one. Last year when I had surgery I lost a lot of hair after the anesthesia. And I’ve never had all that much hair to begin with. Ohboy! Guess I’ll have to look at scarves and wigs this year!

Oh dear! Just got a text from my daughter.  She got the COVID booster a couple of days ago and is having a bad reaction to it.  I got mine Tuesday with no reaction at all.  I hate that for her!  Wonder why some have bad reactions while the rest of us don’t?

 

 

I ZIGGED WHEN I SHOULD HAVE ZAGGED

Lessons learned in the past eight days! Take my time when standing up. Call 911 as soon as you fall because it only hurts worse the longer you wait. When the EMT’s and Fire personnel arrive feast your eyes when they all turn out to be very good looking.

Monday morning of last week I stood up and turned around a bit too fast and down I went. If only I could always take my son’s advice and hit my head I might have been okay, but naturally my feet slid into a pile of stuff I had been sorting through and I knew immediately something was not right. My nurse was coming so I knew the door had to be unlocked for her but walking wasn’t an option, so I scooted to the door, a very long way to scoot! Ya know what they focused on at the ER? My butt! Sure, it was kinda red from scooting on it, but for heaven’s sake, my ankle was the size of my waist, and I have a very sizable waist now.

Hooray! I made it through the night with all parts intact. PT just left a few minutes ago and advised me the next time I got bored I should just call and talk to them instead of falling. What a concept! Come to think of it, my Aunt told me the same thing earlier. I do have a hard head, but that does sound like a much less painful idea than trying to pirouette on my two left feet. I’ve tried to convince people that I’m actually very graceful with no success at all. But! I got to show the PT how well (?) I could maneuver the knee walker. He must have seen something funny out the window because he just kept laughing at me. It could have been my 28 point turns or possibly the parallel parking routine. Now who uses parallel parking any more when it’s so easy to just drive into a spot. I’ve circled parking lots for hours waiting for a spot, not lately of course, but when I still drove a car. Now I just weave my way around people looking for a place within a mile of the store and drive right into the front door.

He insisted that I sit back in my lift chair so he could witness the dismount. I made it okay — at least in my opinion. Left foot never touched the floor, right hand on the arm of the chair while left one was moving my sewing stuff off the cushion, a kind of flop to the seat. Like I have said, I’m not a graceful swan, but I made it intact without ever touching the floor with the left foot. Now I’m trying to convince my bony left knee to give it up and stop trying to complain. Guess I’ll have to make a cushion for it but that seems so much like spoiling a crying baby who didn’t get the toy he kept pulling off the shelf in the toy store. I wouldn’t do that for the baby so why spoil the knee? Oh, of course! The knee is attached to ME! The baby was not by that time. And really the baby always had a lap full of other things it had pulled off the shelf so one more was just one too many!

Now it just occurred to me that I had enough sense back then to leave my own kids with their dad when I went to the store. It was the grandkids I took with me. And there are different rules for the grands. You can spoil them rotten and send them home with the parents! Since my youngest one is 18 now — I think, I had forgotten that part. Just remembered the fussing and crying if they had to put something back.

Wow, a good samaritan just brought me a burger and fries so I think I’ll be occupied with putting those to some good use for a little while. Talk to ya later cause right now I’m going to show the cow that burger came from just how cows should be treated. I can say that because I used to chase the beasts all over the country when they broke through the fence on the farm.

A.

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day

I’m not sure when I first heard those words but wasn’t sure until many years later what they meant. And even then I thought they were part of a speech at the end of the second world war. Well, I was wrong one other time also. These were the first part of the headline published on November 11, 1918, on the day the peace treaty was signed ending the first World War. And they called it the war that would end all war.;

My brother, Steve, with our Mom
Aunt Trudy, my dad’s youngest sister
Uncles Vird and John R.
Uncle Leo, WWII, Northern Africa to Berlin
The three Blandford brothers meeting somewhere in Germany
Uncle Vird

They are all gone from this world now, these wonderful heroes, the latest being my brother who passed away December 20, 2020, after a long courageous battle with Crones disease . There are cousins and other uncles who have served also, but I couldn’t find their photos. Uncles John and Sam, cousins Doug and Bill, my sister MEG, and others whose service I have forgotten, my hubby, Edd, US Navy and two other brothers, Larry, US Marine Corp, and Ray, US National Guard.

To all the veterans around the world who are now and who have in the past fought for our freedom, I wish you a happy day as you hopefully celebrate this Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2021.

Sometimes Plans Have

Aarrrgh! Tried to change the title, or at least finish it and it seems to be stuck there. Should have been “Sometimes Plans Have To Be Changed”, referring to the fact that our plans to visit my older brother had to be put on hold. He has been in treatment for cancer for a few months now, but Saturday night he fell and on Sunday had surgery to repair a broken hip. He is doing well but will be in therapy for a few months and visitors are limited as far as how many and how long. I’m still having trouble convincing myself of my own age and since he is older it’s even harder to think of.

Speaking of age, I was talking with my older son about my plans to live another 25 years which would take me to 103 years old (thanks to Marilyn Armstrong for doing the math for me). We then got on the subject of birthdays and realized my youngest will not live to see his 50th birthday. He’s a Leap Year baby and so far has had 13 birthdays, so if he actually had a 50th actual day he would be 200 years old. Now THAT is old! And take my word for it, I don’t want to be around to help celebrate that one.

I’ve been talking to my aunt a lot lately and we always take a trip down memory lane while we are talking. I enjoy that a lot since we were both raised in the country our backgrounds are similar. And since she is only a few years older than me we were both still riding the same school bus when I began first grade. She, of course was in high school but always saved a seat next to her for me. She could always tell what kind of day I was having when I got on the bus and always made it better for me.

Last night’s conversation turned to the meals we had on the farm. Marie is the youngest of 13 children while I’m second oldest of 7, and what began as commentaries on the UK/LSU football game Saturday and led to talking about our brothers. None of them ever played on any team, not so much because they weren’t interested but when you spend the day working on a farm there just isn’t time enough to play games. That of course led to feeding everyone.

Marie is my mom’s youngest sister and since there were only three girls that meant 9 boys, the 10th having died as a baby, and they only hired help during harvest. Meals were always large in the family but at times like that they had to prepare enough for an even larger crowd. My family meaning hubby and kids didn’t have as many in the family but we did hire help and I was the cook. I learned a lot from my mom and even more from both my grandmothers. So, when I began cooking at home I also learned to cook for nine of us, not a bad number, and we always had to cook a lot of food. It makes me wonder how my grandmother ever managed with her group, but I can remember Sunday dinner at her house when growing up and no one ever left hungry. That training helped me after I married a farmer and became the chief cook and bottle washer for all of the farm hands. The numbers were different each time so one of my brothers who lived with us one summer to earn a bit of money once told someone I would look out the window and count the cars and then throw more beans in the pot to make it all stretch. If it had only been that easy!

I miss those days, my garden, even canning the fruit and vegetables each summer. Everything was fresh and organic and the feeling of satisfaction the following winter when I would see all those jars of food on the shelves and know that whatever came along could be met and even enjoyed because we would be fed and have enough leftovers to share with anyone who might still be hungry.

This seems to be rambling along due to my talks with my aunt and the memories and hours hours we spend talking but we both cherish those memories and hope some of the younger members of the family will learn more about the generation that will be gone after she leaves us. We have to learn from the past before we can plan for the future.

October and all it Brings

This is an unusually busy month for me. Has been for several years. And today is not one of my best days because on this date in 1970 I was lying in a hospital bed. At six a.m. (6:00 a.m.) that day I had given birth to my fifth baby and she wasn’t doing well at all. The doctor ordered bed rest for me and I was not allowed to even go down to the nursery window to see her. At eleven p.m. (11:00 p.m.), after being given sleep meds and finally getting some sleep I was awakened by a soft breeze that passed across my face accompanied by the sweet smell of flowers like I have never smelled before or since in my lifetime. About 15 minutes later my hubby came in the room and I understood what had happened before he said a word. My long awaited daughter, Jennifer Marie, was gone. Her time of death was 11:00 p.m.

This is also the month of birthdays of others in my family, all still living and much loved. The wonderful Aunt Marie, the only aunt living now will be 91 years young on October 17. She will probably outlive us all. My youngest sister, Meg, who informed me she is now drawing Social Security, has a birthday on October 16 (and of course I would NEVER tell her age!), and my older brother, the one who got me into so much trouble in our younger days, will be 80 on October 22. OMG, 80 years — that’s older than some Kentucky dirt! Since he teases me on each birthday I will naturally point his age out to him. I might wait until he has taken the first bite of the chocolate amaretto cake I will bake for him. My cake was always an angel food cake with lemon glaze but his? Devil’s food when we were younger but now, since the discovery of the chocolate amaretto cake that is the one Mom baked for him. I took that cake to a family party one year when we were celebrating all of the birthdays and most of the men in the family were gathered around it with spoons, eating the glaze that had collected around it, almost pure alcohol since the amaretto was added after the chocolate melted. I have to admit it makes a delicious fudge on its own, so I make a double recipe of that part.

I should also mention that October is MS Awareness month. I’ve had MS since I was eleven, so have run the gamut of emotions where that is concerned. No one I know had ever heard of MS when it reared its ugly head, but now it is better known because there are some drug protocols that can help make life easier for those who can take them. I personally am so sensitive to medications that I don’t try them. I tried one several years ago and it threw me into some heart problems, a new twist from the blackouts and falls other meds had caused. After reading the tiny, miniscule print on the information packet that came with that medicine I saw that one in 100,000 people would or could have heart problems from taking it. Hmm, not exactly one in a million, but in this case I would just as soon not be the one in 100,000! How lucky can one person be?

MS is still an orphan disease, meaning it fits no category but its own, is incurable still, and at one time most people with the advanced version that I now have didn’t live very long. I plan on only another 25 years myself, but then I never really wanted to live past 100 before now. My math skills are nonexistent, so add the 25 to the 78 and maybe someone can tell me how old I will be then. Or, I could get out my calculator but that would mean getting up out of my chair and I’m just too tired to do that.

I am going to attempt some photos now but don’t hold your breath. Turning blue is not a good thing for people.

A study in frustration

At least it feels that way! It’s already another day since I sat down with the computer and began checking email and updating Facebook. A study in frustration all in all. Hmmm, I think now I’ll change the title!

There, that’s done. I spent most of Saturday attempting to move furniture and get rid of stuff I haven’t used or worn in the past couple of years. I ordered a table and chairs a few days ago and thought it would be the usual several weeks before delivery. WRONG!!! They were delivered Thursday and I didn’t have the stuff cleared out yet. So now they are sitting in the way while I try to clear some stuff I don’t use out of the apartment. When I have to take it to the dumpster with my power chair it is very slow going. Doesn’t help a bit that I can’t lift most of it into the opening of the dumpster either because of my left shoulder pain. I’ll end up with some kind of back ache from all the lifting and shoving of stuff that I’m moving out of closets and corners.

I’ve also been making more doll clothes for a silent auction being held to raise money for medical bills for a little girl (2 years old) who was beaten and burned allegedly by her babysitter. There were no witnesses to the abuse so the sitter hasn’t been charged with the crime yet. She has been questioned by the police several times and gives different answers each time, but without witnesses it is going to be difficult to prosecute.

I had hoped to post a photo of Royal Jolene but just can’t find it. Just another frustration for tonight. She is a pretty little girl when you are looking at her face. Her legs are horribly scarred from the burns she suffered on January 25, 2021 and she has to wear garments to cover them all day every day. Since there is no place in Kentucky to get the changes she needs due to natural growth, she has to be transported to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville frequently for the replacements. Since it is out of state Kentucky Medicaid refuses to pay for it.

Royal’s grandmother is a friend who lives in my building and she is collecting articles to put in the auction. I also can’t find the information on the venue for the auction, but have put several dolls in the auction and am still making more clothes for the dolls to be auctioned with them or separately, depending on how things look on the day of the auction.

As for making a hole for my table, I will be working on that the rest of tonight and for several more days, tripping my way around it in the meantime. Wish me luck there!

it’s been too long!

I haven’t been posting lately. So much going on in my life that I’ve been overwhelmed with it all. Back in December I wrote a post about my brother and his death. On Friday his funeral will take place somewhere in the mountains surrounding Colorado Springs. My youngest brother, a priest, is there now to preside over the funeral Mass, using a stone as an altar and the entire universe as a cathedral. I wish I could be there.

It has been a long time since my last trip to Colorado. I always came home exhausted and sick. Then I was told I have MS and that the altitude there could make me feel lousy. Hmm, that explained a lot. I’m in a remitting condition now! Not sure why or what brought it on, but between the exhaustion and the headaches most of my day is spent draped across the recliner praying for a merciful death! Not something I fear, and also not something I plan on taking into my own hands, Just something I feel when the MS acts up. I’m perfectly normal, whatever normal is, when it calms down. No energy most of the time but having lived with MS since ripe old age of eleven (11), I’ve been used to it all my life. Just didn’t know there was a name that went with that lack of energy back then.

It’s good to be out of most of the confines of the latest pandemic. I’m so used to wearing a mask now though that I still grab one on my way out the door. It’s nice though to feel the breeze blowing on my face and feel heat from the sun (when it shines). It was also nice to have the masks during the winter months when I drove my power chair to the grocery. I lined several of the masks with flannel and it kept my face from freezing while I was out in the elements. I might continue to wear them during the winter because of that. The fogging of glasses was a real bummer, but they fog up when I go inside after being out in the cold anyway. A friend told me it would help to use shaving cream on them before I went out. Of course I tried that but it didn’t help the fogging. It did make the lenses cleaner than anything else I’ve ever used so I keep that on hand now and when I remember to clean them (usually when I can’t see my hand in front of my face) I use the shaving cream. It’s amazing how much your vision improves when you clean your glasses,

We’ve been through a lot around here. The latest and worst news came on Mother’s Day when my older son called to inform me they were unable to come for a visit. He and my daughter-in-love were both seriously ill with COVID. Not something a mother ever wants to hear. Fortunately they are both recovering now and last Sunday he was at my door with a bag of chocolates.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Two of my latest dolls and the dresses I made for them.

Having Fun With MS and other sob sories