Friday, July 25, 2014


We have learned in the last few months that Pop has a second aneurysm. This one is in a much worse location than the first. The first one was in or around the abdomen and Carmen, our Nurse Practitioner daughter, makes sure he has it checked yearly. IT JUST SO HAPPENED, this one was found when he was having a CT Scan on his lungs. Pop is a smoker and Carmen wants him to be able to smoke if he chooses to do so, but she also wants him to keep a close check on his lungs. As they were checking the results of the CT Scan, they found the aneurysm in the main aorta coming out of the top of the heart. That was scary, for sure. Immediately, Carmen made him an appointment with a doctor in Louisville who specializes in this type of surgery.  We met with him. He explained the dangers and the risks of smoking and lifting, but he recommended we wait a few more months and have another scan run, so we could see if there was any change. We waited until his birth month to run the second scan, them we made the trip back to Louisville to meet with Dr. Ganzel. In the meantime, Pop was put through some heart test, just in case.We were all very anxious about this meeting, since they had already had Pop to do the heart check up, just in case they needed to do emergency surgery. We met with Dr. Ganzel in mid July and IT JUST SO HAPPENED there was no change. Thank God! Talk about a bunch of happy people. We were all so elated.

Now that that was over, and since we were already in Louisville, we decided to track down the folks who were working with me and my business with the cancer. They had not gotten back to me about connecting up with the Oncologist, the chemo pills that I would be taking, nor the cancer insurance paperwork I had left with them. We were getting a bit anxious about it all. Sure enough, the James Graham Brown Cancer Center was just a couple of blocks away, so we set out to find our way there. When we got there, we found it was our lucky day. IT JUST SO HAPPENED, my doctor was scheduled to be at that location on this very day. We were directed to his cubical and found that my doctor had signed me up with two different Oncologists, hopefully, he was comfortable with both, and which ever one could see me first, would be my new Oncologist. I only knew about the one, but it turns out the second Oncologist was able to get to my case sooner, so we set up an appointment with him.  I was a bit leery about just now hearing that there was a second Oncologist lined up for me to see, but after returning home that day, IT JUST SO HAPPENED, I learned that a dear friend of mine had been using this same Oncologist for years and thought he was exceptional in every way. Such a relief to hear that news. Now I could rest easier. It is so scary having to go to a doctor without any knowledge of his work. They set up an appointment for me, and we returned to Louisville a few days later. Pop and I were on our own this day. Neither of the two girls were able to go with us. It has been so wonderful having one and sometimes both of them with us to hear and help us to understand everything that was said. Neither Pop's nor my memory is the greatest nowadays. but we got through it just fine. We were there from 9 to 12, meeting with all sorts of folks, each having different issues to go over with us. Much of the topics discussed with us, we felt was just a formality, since they are working with cancer patients, impending death, and/or long term health care. I have felt so good right up to the day I was told I had cancer, and I have continued to feel so good, it seemed useless for them to go through all that they did, discussing topics usually saved for the dying. Hopefully, I am not in that category just yet, but with cancer, it's not an exact science, and anything can change at any moment. Nevertheless, after all of the talks regarding all of the different issues we might be facing, they drew more blood and another doctor came in an discussed what they had found and the upcoming procedures they would be using regarding my cancer. They would be scheduling a couple of body scans to be sure there were no other cancers lurking inside my body. The process was started toward getting the chemo pills set up for me, and the blood test I would be taking weekly for a few weeks, to make sure my body was accepting the pills. The many side effects from the pills are scary, but I have spoke to one person who is taking the same pills and she says her body adjusted quickly to them and the symptoms leveled out. Hopefully, that will be the case for me. One symptom that worries me, is the disturbances in the heart rhythm.   Since I have learned that my heart is so sensitive to some things, I fear the pills may cause some problems in that regard. Caffeine sensitivity and the irregularities in my heart is what helped me to find the cancer in the first place. IT JUST SO HAPPENED, my heart doctor, Dr. Mehta, found the cancerous tumor while running an echocardiogram on my heart.

There has been a mix up in scheduling this last few days. I received a notice in the mail that said I was to have the necessary scans in Louisville on the morning of July 24. The notice did not reach me until shortly after noon on that same day. I was able to call and reschedule the scans to be done in our local hospital next week. That would be much better. The only bad thing now is that our local hospital requires you to drink that awful drink in preparation for the scans. Yuk!

So that's where I am at this point. My chemo pills should be ready to pick up on Monday. Then I must do blood work every week until they see how my body is accepting the chemo pills. I will offer updates as they occur. I have been posting daily on Facebook about my journey with this cancer, but I wanted it to be documented in my little books for future generations to see, so that is the reason I am posting about my journey, here on my blog, too.

With God's help and the support of my friends and family, WE will get through whatever is to come from this day forward. I say WE, because cancer affects the entire family in one way or another. Not just the person with it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Update on the new twists and turns in my journey.

Echinacea from my garden 
A lot has happened around the Nugent household, since my last post.  Dr. Marshall Johnson felt I needed to see a specialist after viewing the results of my endoscopy. He immediately referred me to Dr. Charles Scoggins of Norton's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. We wasted no time in getting an appointment set up for a consultation, and Dr. Scoggins wasted no time in scheduling me for surgery.  June 17, 2014 would be my surgery date.  5:30 am in the morning.  Eager to have it over and done, we took a room at the Hospitality House near the hospital, so my family could be near me. Dr. Scoggins had taken one look at my medical tests that had been run before I met with him, and he said, without a doubt, it was a cancerous tumor, and it needed to come out, ASAP. I went in on the 17th, Dr. Scoggins did the surgery, and came to talk to us immediately after. He said the surgery took less time than he had expected. From all of the tests, it was not real clear just where the mass was situated. At first it appeared to be in my stomach. The doctors ran the endoscopy on me, and found it was not in the stomach. It appeared to be behind the lining of the stomach. They could not be real sure of the size of the mass either. The earlier tests had said approximately 5,7, or 9 cm. but with it not being inside of the stomach, they would only know once they went in to get it out. Looking at it via the endoscopy was like looking at a ball under a rug. Not a clear visual. Dr. Scoggins went in, and low and behold, the mass was sitting there on the top of my stomach, in plain view. It was bigger than he had expected. Closer to the size of an orange.  He took out 5% of my stomach and the mass, and sent it off to be evaluated.  Dr. Scoggins had already prepared us by telling us that he was convinced that it was a GIST which is definitely a cancerous tumor, a Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumor. Now we must wait for the lab results to tell us whether it was composed of fast growing or slow growing cells. He felt pretty confident that the cancerous cells were confined to the area which he had removed.
my pickings today
I spent the next four days, lying around, recuperating from the surgery. Liquid meals, then soft food meals, and IV meds, a catheter, monitors of all kinds around the clock. Nurses and aids, in and out checking this and that. Family visiting as they could. Friends dropping in occasionally. Four days in bed was the roughest part for me, although I was very weak and couldn't do much about it, at the time anyway. I tried to exercise my arms a bit to help myself get up and down better when the time come. It was helping. They soon took the catheter out and let me come and go as I was able. I liked that better, but the room and the hall outside my door was so small and crowed with medical people, I didn't venture out of the room that much. The doctor came in to check on me each morning, then finally on the fourth day, he came by to tell us, the tumor was fast growing, and I would most likely be on chemo pills for the rest of my life. If I don't take the pills, the chances of it returning is 50/50. If I do take the pills, the chances of it returning drops to 20%. I will be meeting with Dr. Scoggins on July 3, 2014 for my 2 week check up. I understand, at that time, we will discuss placing me in the hands of an Oncologist. That is tomorrow. Pop, myself, and the two daughters will be making the trip, once more to Louisville for that meeting. And that's where we are at this point. The first day home, was rough. The long trip from Louisville took a tole on me. I got a bit squeamish with the pain meds and the rough ride. I fainted as soon as I got up the stairs and into my house. Thank God, Carmen was there and knew what to do. My vital signs all began dropping. She got on the phone and called her husband who is a Paramedic, to come with oxygen. Between Pop rushing to the store to get Gatorade, and the wet towels on my head, a bite or two of crackers, David getting here with oxygen, and getting me in bed, all began to level back out for me. I guess I was simply exhausted from the trip. I have learned that I will be getting exhausted real easy for awhile, from very menial tasks. Two weeks have now gone by, and I am up and around the house quite a bit more, but I still must be very cautious about moving quickly, bending to low, or how I pull myself up from the bed or chairs. Every move I make requires the use of my core muscles, and that is the area where the incision was made. Moving to quickly or the wrong way may rip out the stitches, and I don't want to do that, for sure. They have taken long enough to heal, as it is.
Pop taking up the slack while I'm laid up
I have been able to take short rides on the gator with Pop. I even drove myself to the duck pond once or twice, during the last couple of days. I get winded real easy, so I try to pace myself, and take naps at regular intervals to recharge my body. I feel confident about my progress. I hope the doctor feels the same way tomorrow. My next entry should shed some light on my progress in choosing an Oncologist and whatever follows. I am so ready to get back to my normal life, or as close to normal as humanly possible. I pray to GOD that this is all behind me, but no one truly knows that, but HIM. 

The Waiting Continues

These last two posts were written a couple of weeks apart, so I hope there are no discrepancies in the two.  I just found that I  had not posted this one, so I am posting it the same day as my next entry.

I can't really say that I have had a lot of time to dwell on my new found problem. I am too busy with my life to do that. I had no problems all the while the mass was growing inside of my body, so I have no problems relating to it now, that I am aware of.  I do, occasionally, have a feeling of something pressing against my breast bone from within. I have had a sensation of having a rock or some hard article behind my upper back when I lay back in the recliner, and at times.  Then, at times, I feel like my skin has grown to my backbone in a tiny spot. A strange description of the feelings I get at times, but it seems like something is stuck to one spot in my back and won't let go. These sensations are not constant, so I don't relate them to this problem, but I guess it is possible they are related. Nevertheless, I am hearing through my older step daughter and Pop, that the surgeon mentioned calling in a specialist. Possibly because of where the mass is located. When they ran the scope, they found the mass was much larger than they had once thought. More the size of an orange, and located behind the lining of my stomach. I will meet with the surgeon tomorrow to learn what they are planning for me next. Therefore,the waiting continues.

I have been working on a lot of different things, in the meantime. My rock painting has consumed a lot of my time. I have been getting more requests than I can fill. I doubt anyone is in a great hurry, so I will get to each one sooner or later.

 Pop and I finally got around to putting up my new laminated fence display.  I found it at the auction for $20.00. It was new and still in it's original packaging. The owner said it was $159. new, in the store. No one seemed to know what it was or want it, so I got the final bid at $20.00. We have just recently acquired new property, so we have a new corner to our piece of land now. An ideal spot for the new display.  As I was mowing the right of way on the new yard section, the mailman stopped to see if I had lost it. Meaning my mind. He said my yard was on the other end of the property. Then I explained to him that this area was now, a new extension to my original yard. I keep moving the lines further out on the property, thus, expanding my yard. I drove around the fields yesterday, and found my Stella D' Ora lilies and a few other flowers, in full bloom where I had planted them last fall. Can't wait to see my burning bushes grow and brighten up the fields with their red leaves in the Fall. I have big plans for many more sites around the property filled with flowers. Pop amazed me this past few weeks. He had me to hop on the Gator with him so he could show me some wildflowers blooming on the property. Little did he know at that time, that I had planted them there. But it was so sweet of him to want to take me and show me the flowers. He knows how I love all flowers, wild or otherwise.

I wake up each morning, with a mental list of things I want to get done that day. Today, my plan is to go to Sonora, about 10 miles away, and get a trailer load of red mulch. I try to do this once a year. It deteriorates over a years time, so I must replenish it yearly. The plastic mulch would not break down so fast, but the chickens scatter it so badly when they are roaming free, it gets expensive. The regular seems to break down and help to build up the soil in the yards, somewhat, when they scratch it out of the beds. My plan is to use the red mulch under and around my new fence display. I have a red rose in mind to put in the center of the bed. The new one that requires little attention. If there is such a rose. I have had a few of these roses over the years, and they do still seem to have their own set of problems.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When it gives you rocks, paint'em!

I have become obsessed with rock painting lately. It is a very peaceful and calming project.

 It has proven to be a Godsend to me, since I have learned that I have a mass in my stomach that requires surgery. I am petrified of having any kind of surgery at all, whether it be for myself or my family. The staph that is running rampant in the hospitals these days is unreal. If you live through the surgery, you could be laid up for weeks and in some cases, months with the staph. If you are lucky and don't die from one or the other. Then there is the worry about blood clots. That is a common problems nowadays, too. You hear of more people dying from blood clots after surgery, than ever before, and folks wonder why I am scared of having surgery???

I have so many friends and family on Face book who are praying for me, there is no way things could go wrong. I just have to resign myself to the fact that all will go well, and it will be over and done quickly, and I will be back to my regular routine. I just need to have faith.

I am gathering up lots of small rocks to keep me busy while I am recuperating. No lifting, tugging, bending, stooping. I guess I'll be lucky if I can even paint. We'll just have to play it by ear. I am scheduled to meet with the surgeon on May 29,2014. He will tell me more about the procedure he will be using, and answer any questions I might have at that time. I hope he has the time. I have many questions.

 I will be using Dr. Marshall Johnson. Hershell had him for his colonoscopy and he trusts him.  Carmen knows him well from working closely with him at the hospital. From all of the comments I am receiving on Face book, I think I have made a good choice. So many of my friends have used him and had great results. Now the waiting game begins.

P.S. I visited with Dr. Johnson and he wants to do an endoscopy on 6/4/14. Will update as I know more. Please keep me in your prayers as this is not over yet. Thanks, all!

One Step Closer to the Truth

A lot has happened, since my last post. Even if it is in my mind. So let me begin at the beginning.
I have always had concerns about my heart. It does weird things at times and I have no clue what triggers it into doing these weird things. I do know only with experience, that my heart is extremely sensitive to certain things. Some of these things are normal everyday things like coffee, tea, and chocolate. Others are products with certain ingredients in them. I am not even real sure what the ingredients are, but I do know that certain diet drinks are a problem for me and my heart. Green tea, which is suppose to be super good for you, causes me discomfort with my heart. Energy drinks. I learned really quick. I don't want any part of them. I lost a nephew a couple of years ago, in my opinion, due to the energy drinks. He had definite heart issues ever since he had open heart surgery at 2 weeks of age. These are a few of the things that cause disturbances with my heart. Then on occasion, my heart would give a big abnormal jolt in my chest, and go on for years with no more such occurrences.Nevertheless, I had the doctors to check my heart a few times over the years. On three different occasions, they sent me home with a heart monitor strapped to my body to record  it's rhythm and such over a 24 hour period. Nothing significant showed up the first two times I wore the monitor home. These heart monitoring cases took place over a period of years. Then the third monitoring which was done this past 3 months showed up some irregularities. Thus triggering the need for me to have more testing done on my heart. I was put through an echocardiogram and a stress test. The results were that my heart muscle is strong, but I do have a leaky valve. The leaky valve should not cause any problems, but if I was still concerned, he could recommend a medication to help with it. Not wanting to go on more medication, I chose to watch my caffeine intake and go from there. It was sweet relief just knowing all was well with my heart other than a sensitivity to caffeine. I could work with that along with regular exercise throughout the year, not just during the summer.  No problem there.

Then......out of the blue, as I was checking out, from my visit at with heart doctor, Dr. Mehta called me aside with more news, and it was not good news. He said they had seen something on my echocardiogram that concerned them, and he recommended I follow up with a CT Scan. I did so, and sure enough, it appears there is a 5 cm. mass inside of my stomach. I didn't panic....yet. I would go through the scan first. Maybe it was a shadow or an air pocket. It could be something, but then it could be nothing at all. I was a bit uneasy, but I kept telling myself, "Don't panic just yet".
I stayed busy painting and mowing. Two things I do to relieve stress. I got a lot of both done over the next few weeks. Now the day has arrived. I go in this morning for an endoscopy. From what I am hearing, it is a camera they run down your throat to see what we are working with. Once again, I must tell you. I am a bit frightened. I think more for what they may find, than for the procedure itself.
I am a strong, otherwise healthy, optimistic person, and I feel confident, it will be something easily corrected. At least I am going to keep telling myself so.

I am a Christian. I have been saved. Now it is in the Lord's hands. I pray for a good outcome. Other than that, I pray for peace to get me through it, no matter what we find. I have had a great life. Lots of pleasure and joys. A great companion to spend my life with up to this point. So whatever comes from this day on, I can handle it, with God's help and the support of my friends and family.

I will have an update as I learn more, if all goes well today. So until then........
Have a good day! Life is too short.Cherish Every Moment! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Great Expectations!

I awoke this morning with a question from one of my followers, still on my mind. I know this person, and I know his sense of humor, so I can expect anything, when he responds to my posts. Most times, his responses gives me a little chuckle, and I go on with my day, but for some strange reason, this comment, made me feel foolish, and of course, no one likes to be made to feel foolish, especially, in the eyes of their peers.

His question was in regards to my post about my ducks. I had been working with the ducks for several weeks, in a sense, training them to eat on a regular schedule, to recognize the sound of my voice, and to expect food when I come near, shaking the container, letting them know I have food . I was confident they were ready to be released to the open pond, and when night fall grew near, I would go to them, shake the feed can, and call them up to eat, and they would go straight to their feeding spot, which was inside the pen where they were to spend the night, hopefully safe from predators.That is what I expected to happen. How was I to know, being my first experience with ducks, that they would find huge amounts of food of their liking, in and around the pond. They were in heaven. Eating something ravenously around the edges of the pond, for most of the day. We have no idea what they were eating. Possibly tadpoles or tiny fish. Heaven knows there were plenty of both. I don't know for sure what they found to eat, but that first day out, I am convinced they were to stuffed to care about the feed I was offering them to draw them into their pen. It worried me so much that they were still running loose in the night, that I went out a few times attempting to call them in, to no avail. Finally at midnight, I felt I would give it one more try.

I don't know what their reasoning was, but they seemed to be a bit more willing to come to their shelter. Possibly the darkness and not knowing what wild things might be lurking in the night. It was pitch dark, my flashlight batteries had run completely down, so in the very dim light of the moon, after numerous attempts, I wadded out in the edge of the pond, petrified as to what might be lurking in that dark water, with a long cane pole and corralled them into the pen. With a big sigh of relief, and the clock now well past midnight, I headed back to the house to rest easier for the remainder of the night, knowing they were, hopefully, a little more safe from harm.

So now Homer Hornback, if you are reading this you will know what I expected to happen.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Moving Fabric and Blankets Along in Small Quilts

A good friend of mine and I have a lot in common. He nor I can stand to see anything wasted that has any life left at all. This last week he brought me a few blankets that were headed for disposal, knowing I could do something with them. I laundered them and made shop cloths from one. I am using one as a cover for my baby chicks on these cool nights. Another one, I have cut into four quarters, and have matched each piece up with enough fabric for a small lap type quilt or baby quilt. Heaven knows, I need to move some fabric. These little projects will come in handy on those days when it is too wet or too hot to work out doors this summer.  There is always a need for a baby blanket, whether it be a new baby in the family or community, or an auction, for raising money for some worthy case.

2 New Ducks On Our Pond

Life never gets dull when you're married to Hershell! I usually go out and check on and feed my 5 remaining ducks, 2 or 3 times a day. Hershell had mentioned the day before, that there were a couple of wild Mallard ducks on our pond. No biggie. They do that often, but they never stay long, so I didn't think any more about it.
Yesterday morning, I headed out to the pond to feed the ducks their morning meal, and I see 2 ducks from the porch. It appeared a new type of duck had ventured in, since the ones I was seeing this morning were more of a bluish color. I got my camera and headed that way. Slowly, one step, click, two steps, click, three steps, click. I just knew they would fly away before I made the 130 steps to the pond. I wanted the best shot I could get before my presence scared them into flight. After about 6-8 steps and clicks of my camera, I realized they were not moving their heads at all. Their whole bodies just drifted around continuously, in the same small area. The joke was on me. They were decoys Hershell had bought the day before at the Flea Market to fool me, and it definitely worked.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Deviled Eggs

I have always known why they are called Deviled Eggs. It has always been,for me, a devil of a job getting the eggs from the shell.

I cannot believe I am 66 years old and writing about the fact that I have always hated making Deviled Eggs, simply because I could never get the shells to come off while leaving the egg intact. The reason I choose to write about this today is because of the experience I just had with this same ordeal.

We have about 30 chickens, give or take a few. All ages and kinds. We simply love having chickens around the farm. The eggs are probably cheaper in town, although not as healthy and nutritious,when you consider the cost of feed, but we keep on,keeping our chickens, regardless. We don't use them for meat, since it is unbearable for me to eat one after having raised it, fed it daily, called it by name, then decapitated it. No way could I do that.When I was young, it did not bother me quite so much.

We go through long dry spells when the hens are not laying, but when they do lay, we are bombarded with eggs. I try to rotate the eggs stored in the extra fridge in the basement, keeping the older eggs to the front to be used next or given to friends and family. Today I brought up a dozen of the 'next in line' eggs and put them on to boil. Boiled eggs are so handy and nutritious for a quick snack.

I brought the eggs to a boiling point, then turned the burner down to medium and let them continue boiling for another 20 minutes or so, although I was not really timing them. I turned the burner off, let them set for a few minutes then drained the hot water off and covered them with cold water. I then used a method my Father had taught me when I was very young. I take a spoon and peck on the eggshell, making sure the shell was totally cracked all over.Then dropped them back into the cold water. One by one, I grabbed and gently twisted each egg with both hands, as though I were twisting the lid off of a jar of face cream. The entire shell slipped right off. No pick, pick, picking, nor torn up egg. I may try this procedure again, just to see if it works every time. If it does,making Deviled Eggs may not be such a devil of a job after all.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Be Careful What You Wish For

Mennonite farm

(This post was written a few weeks back, but I am having a new book published, and wanted it included.)

Today I was wishing for some reason to get me out of the house. It's still a bit cool and early for yard and garden work. Low and behold, as we were planning to go by Flint Hill Grocery for our breakfast, we got a call from Pop's Cousin Larry. He was stranded down in Hart County with his logging rig, where he had taken the wrong road, and had his log truck in a real predicament trying to turn around and get back onto the right road. We grabbed a bite to take with us since I was already trembling with low blood sugar from the late breakfast and the scare of not knowing what had happened on the other end of the phone conversation. Pop was getting pretty torn up on his end. Needless to say, we headed out to see if we could be of any assistance. Sure enough. It was an ordeal, but between the three of us we got the rig and its trailer turned around and headed out to it's original destination. ****

The view of the country in those parts is spectacular. I think a lot of the land in that area is owned by Mennonites. They are quite different from the Amish around our home. The Mennonites have the most beautiful and immaculate farms. Every aspect of life for them is neat and organized and orderly. The difference is unbelievable. The homes are huge and most of all, neat, as are the out buildings and barns. Neat is the best word I can think of to use when describing their farms. The fields and pastures run forever across the cleared and rolling hills. Even the fences are as neat and well kept as their homes and pastures. It's hard to imagine a farm being so beautiful , but the neatness and the simplicity of it all is breath taking.*****

Most of the Mennonites have a business of some type. They have huge businesses doing and selling other things that benefit us English folks, as well. Many of the discount grocery stores are owned by Mennonites. There are more and more of those types of grocery stores popping up everywhere lately. The cedar mill where we take our cedars is owned and operated by Mennonites. Some build log homes for the public. Some build furniture. One we know of one who has a store selling Redwing shoes, boots, hats, belts, various leather goods, etc.

The Amish, for the most part, live off the land. The do have businesses that are used by many folks in the communities in which they live, but for the most part, they have businesses that benefit their own people, like shoeing horses, training horses, making tarps, repairing buggies, running sawmills,etc. Many raise huge gardens and sell to the public. They also make money by selling their crafts from their homes,along the roadsides and sometimes flea markets and the like. The Amish do not care about pretty things. They live simple and unadorned in any way, whether it be on their person or their homes.

It was such a nice treat to ride through that beautiful country as the day was shaping up a bit. We stopped at a little restaurant, The Bacon Creek Cafe, in Bonnieville, and ate a leisurely meal, before heading out, only to find the log skidder was in need of some repairs. Again,we three, worked on that project for about an hour,before Cousin Larry could proceed on to Bloomfield with his load. He had been hired by one group of Mennonites to haul the log skidder from one location to another.

The sun had come out by the time we got home and warmed things up enough for me to work in one of my raised beds. Pop carried me up, a bucket of rich soil with the tractor before he headed out to work up another load of cedars. I raked and shoveled the new soil into one of my beds, getting it ready to plant. I am not sure yet,just what I'll plant in this particular bed. I have three beds now so I can plants many things. Pop will most likely have his traditional garden, although I am hoping he will downsize it a bit this year. Those huge gardens are getting to be too much for us to care for.

Since Pop had headed out to the woods, I decided to stop what I was doing and go help him for awhile. I hate for him to be back there alone. Considering his age and the danger of using the tractor and chain saws, a second party needs to be present at all times. We loaded the trailer with cedar posts and headed back to the house. Time for the coffee drinkers. I worked on my seed bed a bit more before heading in to start supper while he entertained his guests. After awhile,he made the rounds, feeding the chickens and one more trip through the woods before night fall, to check out one more tree he had planned to cut. This has been one busy day. I wanted help staying away from the fridge, but I think this was a little extreme for two older folks. We should sleep good tonight.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Something Else To Worry About

During the last few weeks, I have had a new issue to worry about. My Heart.
I've had some unusual disturbances in my chest for most of my life, but it seems to be more noticeable here lately. I guess even a heart gets old and worn out, and then, too, with all of the junk we have run through our bodies during our lifetime, what do we expect. You hear so much today about folks having irregular heart beats and all sorts of weird things going on with the heart. You hear about it constantly on the TV, advertising medications for heart issues. You talk to folks on a regular basis, who have or know of someone who has a heart concern, so you have to know, they are a common thing nowadays. Why should I be different. But I have been as strong as a horse for most of my life with no major issues. That is why I get concerned, and worrying about anything, as we all know, makes it worse. I try to read anything I can find regarding the issues I am having, but there again, we have all heard those words, many times, too. A little knowledge can be worse than no knowledge at all, especially when it comes to our health. This is very true in the medical field. You can read and read some more, and only get yourself worked up about something, and in the end, it turns out to be something totally different from the problem you thought you were having. We are at the mercy of the medical folks to diagnose and treat whatever it is that ails us. If that is even possible. The human body is a very complicated thing. There is so much going on within our bodies, I fear man will never know everything there is to know. Then he would be as smart as the Man upstairs, and we all know that will never happen. Man may be able to calm some of our ails, for a short while, but only Our Creator has the ability to truly fix things, and His way may not be the way we would have chosen. We should let the doctors do what they can, and in the meantime, have faith that God knows exactly what we need.

I am waiting now, after wearing the heart monitor, once again, for 24 hours. I have went through this procedure three different times now, and nothing major ever shows up. I had a thorough heart check up in 2005, just before I retired, and once more, nothing major showed up. I guess with that many tests, one should forget it and accept the fact that it might be my imagination, but some of the episodes I am feeling will not let me do that.

While waiting for my appointment with the heart specialist on May 14, I have been doing some more research on possible supplements or nutrients that might help regulate and strengthen my heart. If I can find a vitamin or supplement to help me overcome these strange feelings I am having in my chest, I definitely would rather do that than to have to go on prescription medications. I hate the thought of being dependent on prescription medicines. Anyone with one eye and half sense, knows by reading the literature that comes with the prescription drugs, that they are not the best route to go. While possibly helping one thing, it could be killing you in another way. I feel we are definitely at the mercy of the doctors, and I have heard too many times, that the doctors are being taught nowadays to simply keep the patient comfortable and ease them on out, after they have reached a certain age. It sounds like the modern day form of genocide to me. I will keep my appointment in May, but in the meantime, I will be doing more research and trying a few things on my own to see if I can alleviate some of the discomforts and worries I am feeling involving my heart. I am convinced that anxiety plays a major part in the many problems that I have been experiencing during my entire lifetime. I will be doing some research on that, too. Who knows. I may learn to fix the anxiety issue and all of my other issues may disappear. One can only hope.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Quilting Experience

I had a follower to ask me today if I make quilts. My usual response to that question is...." I am not a quilter, per se, but I do make quilts." Here are a few of the little quilts I have made over the years.

I enjoy using fabric in many different ways,but making fancy quilts is not my forte'. I do make quilts and I love making them, but I make them when I get ready. Not on demand.

Making things on demand, for me, seems to take all of the fun out of it. If I choose to make a quilt for an individual, I want to do it because I want to. 

Not because someone else wants me to. That may sound a bit selfish, but putting a deadline on something, kills the pleasure in it for me. 

I feel crowded and rushed. I am a sporadic quilter and crafter. I like to work at my own pace.

 I have made larger quilts for my beds,but for now, these are the only ones I have stored in pictures on my external hard drive.
Many people who make the fancy quilts tend to spend lots of money on matching fabrics.

I am an avid believer in recycling. I do not like to buy new fabric for my crafts and quilts.

Nor do I  like destroying a good garment just to use the fabric. I use a lot of outgrown garments of my own and of others who have learned over the years that I collect fabric.

I use fabric in many ways other than in quilts. I love color. I use a lot of color in my various crafts. Color seems to boost my spirit on days when I need it most. 
This is a quilt I made in Mom's memory shortly after her death on March 12, 2013. Mom loved bright colors and purple was one of her very favorites.

Eggs and 50 Year Ago Memories

Isn't it strange, and a bit scary, to think that you can remember the smallest detail of some of the happenings in your life, but you can't remember if or where you planted your winter onions, only six weeks or so ago?

When I awoke this morning, I went out to check on my ducks. I was wide awake after going out in the rain and snow mix we were having at the time, so I decided to get something more done, before crawling back into bed, if I decided to do so. I had quite an accumulation of eggs from the last couple of days. Getting around to washing them and carrying them downstairs to the extra fridge, can be a chore at times, especially when there are so many other things you'd rather be doing, like painting rocks.

Well, this morning as I was washing the eggs, they brought back memories from fifty years ago. I was staying the night with one of my good friends from school, and I can remember standing at the sink, washing eggs from their family's chickens. Funny how that memory of the egg washing is so vivid, when I had a huge crush on her brother, at that same time. He was as shy as myself, so no one would ever have guessed that either of us had a thought about the other. I thought about him a lot, but mostly in my dreams. He was a little older than me and I doubted that he even knew I was alive, but I was crazy, although silently, in love with him. The next morning, as we all loaded on to the school bus,I noticed that he had secretly got ahold of my notebook and written his name inside. At least I always assumed he had done it. I can't imagine anyone else doing that since most of my thoughts about him, were only in my mind. His sister knew, but I still believe to this day, that it was he, himself, who had written his name in my notebook. That surely was a sign that he had thought of me, even if it was just to tease me.

I remember thinking I could always dream about him. There was no harm in that. Since he was Catholic and I was Baptist, nothing more could ever come of it anyway. Back then, it just wasn't done. Marrying someone of a different faith. Not that it would ever come to that, but still, the thought of our different faiths was there, holding me back. That and being so shy.

Yes, it is definitely funny, and a bit strange, how some thoughts and memories linger in our minds forever, while others leave so quickly.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Challenge to be Creative

Did you ever consider giving you children or grand children "A Challenge a Day" to come up with a creative idea of their own? This could be a great opportunity to bring out and nurture the creativity in your child, save you money, and keep their little hands busy for a few minutes of each day. Who knows? They may find that being creative brings out in themselves, such a great feeling of pride, that they'd like to carry it on, into the rest of their lives in more ways than even they could have ever imagined. Being creative is such a wonderful gift. You can see useful ways of utilizing so many of the everyday items, that in most cases, would end up in our landfills. Landfills which are overflowing around the globe, polluting our water, our soil. and even the air that we breathe, and inevitably making it's way back into the very food that we consume on a daily basis. Every action creates an action and a reaction. Or in other words, As we sow, so shall we reap.

Today, my thoughts were on the menial cereal box. Do you know what the price of card stock is in the craft stores? Neither do I, but I do know that it is more than I wish to pay. Especially since, many times,on a daily basis, we toss good usable card stock, in the trash. I love playing with the card stock from these cereal boxes, just to see how many useful ideas I can dream up. Nothing major ever comes of it, at least in the eyes of many,but most of the time, I come up with something pretty and useful in some way. If you were ever into card making, you know what I mean. A simple little verse on a hand made card, shows someone, somewhere, that you cared enough to think of them. I make many of these little cards with various,appropriate verses on them, and depending on the occasion, when needed, I can pick and choose a specific card for a specific person on a specific day of their lives, thus letting them know that you were thinking of them and that they are truly loved. What a great way to start someone's day. A single flower in a pretty little vase,with one of your little handmade notes attached. You have done a good deed for today, and made someone very happy.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

All Pumped up

For the last few days, we have been having some of the coldest weather of the winter. A couple of rounds this past couple of weeks with freezing temps, rain, sleet, snow, ice and wind. We've had it all. We were so afraid we were having a repeat of the 2009 winter when the ice covered everything . It broke down the power lines and a multitude of trees were damaged when the weight of the ice brought down so many of their branches. Folks were without power for miles around. Many homes   up to 13 days with no electricity. Pop and I were raised up without running water and many of the amenities, so we did fine without electricity, but then we had a big generator and a wood stove to help us out. Many folks never think of what could happen, so they were left to find other ways of dealing.Hopefully, for the most part, the worst of the winter is over. Now comes the threat of tornadoes. They are far more of a worry than the power outages ever could be.

Nevertheless, for the last few days, while cooped up indoors, I have busied myself with one of my favorite crafts. Fabric covered boxes. Color gets my blood to pumping, thus I have been all pumped up for the last couple of days. I began working on this particular box/tray a night or two ago and got so engrossed in it, I could hardly make myself stop long enough to get to bed last night. I finally put it aside about 11 o'clock last night, but I was up at 5 o'clock this morning trying to finish it up. With other activities getting in my way, you know the ones, the regular routine of  a woman's day, I didn't get it finished until 4 o'clock this afternoon. It is so pretty and I am so proud of it. Can't wait for it to dry completely so I can fill it up with something.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Looking Back

Don't know about the rest of the state, but I am ready for warmer weather, so bring it on!

The link I have copied here is to one of my other blogs. I was revisiting some of my older posts and wondering why I cannot get motivated to do all of the wonderful things I use to do. I think this horrible weather plays a big part, as does being cooped up all winter. I have gained a few pounds, and we all know the difference a few pounds can make in regards to how you feel. Hopefully, warmer weather is just around the corner, and we will all get outdoors and get some much needed fresh air and exercise. Until then, you might want to browse through some of my older posts. I may do a bit more of that myself. You never know. I may get motivated sooner than I thought.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Purple Socks

As I told my neighbor and fellow blogger just this afternoon, I feel we all have at least one"why" tucked away, somewhere in our subconscious. I have many, but the one that comes to my mind tonight is" Why do I feel compelled to save everything. A pair of purple socks is my subject tonight. I have worn this pair of purple socks off and on for about a year now. I know it's been a year, because my Mother passed away a year ago March 12, 2013, and I inherited many of her colorful socks. I wanted them simply because they epitomise "Mom" herself. She loved color and she wore and used it incessantly. In any form possible. If not in her clothing, then she would use colored paint. She painted the sidewalks and the stepping stones, every color in the rainbow. Thus her nickname,The Colorful Cajun. At least, that's the name the Pastor of her church used when referring to Mom. To those who knew her much better,it was "The Ragin' Cajun, which she was equally proud of. 

Tonight, when  I took my purple socks off, I decided it was time to stop wearing them. There was a hole in each heel, which didn't show when I'd wear them, so I continued to do so. Tonight is the night. I must stop wearing them. I took the scissors and cut them down the middle and across the toe, making a square flat piece out of each one.The color was so pretty, and then there was Mom's memory attached to them. How could I possibly throw them away. Well, I didn't. I took them to the serger and hemmed the little square pieces of sock material on all of the raw edges. I WILL find some way to use these pretty little purple square pieces of fabric. Thus, my questions. Why do I do this? Why do I feel so attached to inanimate things? Is it a sickness, or possibly a curse? I suppose I could pay an exorbitant amount to some kind of counselor or head doctor to explain it to me, but knowing me, I'll continue on, asking myself "Why".

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Who needs a recipe?

At the last few visits we made to the local auction, we found they were selling produce. Such a great idea. They have been selling some items that most of us can really use, and the prices were right, too. I bought 6 Huge Granny Smith apples. They were selling 3 apples for $1. I got 2 lots. The grapes were heavenly, too, but the subject for my post today is the apples.

I have never been one to stick to a recipe, although we HAD to do so, for most of the latter years I worked for the local school system. I grew up "making do" with what we had on hand and that is a hard thing to overcome, not that I would ever want to. We were very poor, growing up, and hardly ever got "sweets". Most of the sweets we did get came from something I had concocted using whatever we had on hand in the cupboards. Mom always had this one rule that we knew better than to break. We were allowed to make or cook up anything we could find the ingredients for, but it must be eaten. We could not afford to mix up something and toss it out simply because it did not turn out to suit us. We would have to rework it into something that was edible. Whether it meant adding peanut butter, or oatmeal, or sorghum. It had to be made edible. If nothing else, we could make it up into a cake. It is amazing what you can come up with, if you have that rule hanging over your head.

I usually got the job. I don't know if I cooked back then because I enjoyed it, or if I learned to enjoy it later in life, because I had those cooking experiences as a child. nevertheless, I do enjoy experimenting with foods. Today, I decided to try my hand at the apple dumplings or a close attempt with no recipe. Usually, I will hear someone telling what all they used in a recipe, and I can come up with a pretty close dish of my own.

Without hunting up a recipe, I knew I had the Granny Smith apples. That is the type most ladies mention that they were using. An apple is an apple to me, but then I never was much of a connoisseur on apples. I had crescent rolls,  cinnamon and sugar, butter, sugar water (since I had no Sprite), and cream cheese. I don't remember if the others used cream cheese or not, but I love it so I'm tossing it into the mix.  I tossed the diced apples in my sugar and cinnamon mixture then I wrapped one of the crescent rolls around several pieces of the apples, along with a small chunk of cream cheese, and placed the finished product in my casserole dish along with a half stick of melted butter. I sprinkled a little more cinnamon and sugar over the rolls, then poured 1 cup of water mixed thoroughly with one cup of sugar, over the entire dish. I baked it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the rolls were brown on top.

It was heavenly. Perfect for a midday snack, especially since Carmen, David, and the Grand children are planning me a Birthday Supper tonight with Cake and Ice Cream.

I got a $10 Starbuck's gift certificate today from my first cousin in Alaska. That would be so nice with my Apple Dumpling snack, but I guess I will have to wait until we go to Louisville in the next few weeks to use the certificate.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pretty, Useful, Creative,Recycled

I try to take a few minutes each day to work with some of my crafting ideas. Especially since they are what keeps me motivated. I awake most mornings and sometimes throughout the night, with another good idea for a crafting project. If I'm feeling rested enough, I may get up anytime during the night and go down to my craft room in the basement and busy myself with a project until I feel sleepy enough to crawl back into bed once more. Some nights I get so carried away, I don't feel the need to crawl back into bed.  Having a creative mind is a blessing, most of the time, but there are time when I do not agree with that statement. When I am desperate for sleep and I lay there, tossing and turning, trying so hard to fall asleep, but cannot, for thinking of projects I want to undertake as soon as possible. At times like that, it seems more like a curse.

I have made many variations, over the years, of this project mentioned today. I was having trouble falling to sleep a night or two ago, so I got back up and set at my desk and drew up a pattern for a tiny box. Most of us can make a box, but I am forever trying to think up little projects for small children. That seems to be foremost in my mind lately. I do not have natural kids. If I did, I think they would have inherited some of the creativity from myself and other members of my blood kin. Most of my family have no issues with creativity. We can all do any and everything we set our heads to. I suppose it can be learned, but it most definitely is an inherited thing, too.

The project I made here today started out with a home made box (see my pattern).
(1) I cut it out and glued it together.
(2) I used pretty paper to cover it. Some I had made in another recycling project.
(3) I made a ribbon to encircle the box, with a piece of matching fabric.
(4) I put on some lettering. I could have done that in many different ways.
(5) I cut last years calendar into small pieces to fit in the box.(the back of the pages were blank)
(6) I placed a small pencil in with the papers.

Now, I don't want Pop to yell at me again for not having pencil and paper handy by the phone for when he needs to take down a message or a number.

Pop's Run In with John's Cat

 There has been a lot going on around our house in the last couple of weeks. Most of it involves running to and from doctors offices with Pop's finger.  

We attended our Grandson's 9th Birthday Dinner on Monday, January 13th. John had decided, since it was his birthday, therefore his choice on the meal, that he wanted meat loaf for Pop, and chicken and dumplings for himself. Who could refuse either. Especially since we haven't been doing a lot of cooking around our house lately.

While we were all sitting around, visiting, waiting for Carmen to get home from her job at the hospital, Pop began petting Mochie, John's cat, and rubbing his belly. Evidently, he rubbed the wrong spot, and Mochie attacked Pop's hand.

It was a deep bite, and Pop complained a little, but he didn't make a big deal of it, so we went on with our evening. Two days later, on Wednesday, Pop was spending the morning with his two daughter's as he has been doing for awhile. They get together at a restaurant in town, eat and visit, then do the flea market thing, if it's in season and the weather is fitting, then they hit Walmart for a little shopping. Well, by Wednesday, Pop's finger was swollen and red and warmer than usual. He had not complained to me about it, so I was not aware it was that bad. Carmen, being a Nurse Practitioner now, she demanded that he see a doctor at once. When he got home, I called for an appointment for him to see our regular Nurse Practitioner and get her opinion.  She was booked up tight with flu patients so recommended we go to Urgent Care. We did and Pop got a tetanus shot, and some antibiotics.We called our NP and made an appointment to see her, but since Monday was a holiday, she couldn't see him until Tuesday. Carmen could not wait. She got on the phone and made him an appointment with the BIG DOGS in Louisville. Kleinert and Kutz. They are a world renowned team that works on and trains others on hands. So we have been going to and from Louisville over the last week or so. They did surgery on his hand the first day they saw him. We had gone thinking they would just look it over and give us their opinion. They did just that and decided it needed to be lanced. NOW! so they did just that. Our appointment was about 12:30 (noon) and we didn't get home from Louisville until 10 that night. We did stop to eat on the way home, so that took about an hour, but still. It was a long day.

Most of our activities lately have been centered around Pop and his hand. Doctoring it, cleaning it, exercising it. Worrying about it. Let's not forget that. Who knew a cat bite could turn into such an ordeal. John's cat had to be quarantined for 10 days. That turned out to be O K. No rabies. Thank God! But it's a precaution the health department must demand we take. Naturally Mochie was not happy. Since the quarantine and dilemma with Pop's hand, John's cat has had to make a trip to the vet and get his man parts disconnected, among other things. But hopefully he is in good shape now. If only we can say the same for Pop in a few weeks. This hand thing has really been scary and it's not over yet.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Three is not always a crowd.

There are a few terms or tasks that I try to keep in the fore front of my mind  at all times.These are tasks that would definitely make my life and the lives of those around me,much easier. They are tasks that come easily for some, but for others, myself included, it's a constant   struggle.
Some of the tasks I speak of are Organizing,Categorizing, Decluttering,Utilizing,Improvising,Down sizing, to name a few, and there are so many other terms I could list that would follow along these same lines.          You get the picture.

I have mentioned before, that I do not do a lot of shopping. Well, I need to rephrase that. I hardly ever buy new things from traditional shops. Occasionally,I do, but nowhere near the average shopper, by no means. I do buy things, now and then, that I can use in my crafting, but they are usually really cheap or  else I pass them by.Most of my crafting is done from my recycled stash.
I will buy a bulk of supplies if I find a real bargain which I have done on a few occasions.

Once, I bought $15 worth of crochet thread. Twenty or so spools,give or take a few. Some slightly used from, but most were nearly full .Mom was with me that day, and she was always my conscience. I could take one look at her and know if  I should or I shouldn't. That day, she agreed that it was a good deal, so I bought it, since she had done a lot of crocheting in her younger years, and was well aware of how expensive it could be. .That was several years ago, and I have still not utilized the thread to the extent I had planned.

One of my nieces recently asked me to make her some dish washing cloths for her new house, so I have been crocheting several of them lately. I told her that I had regular crochet thread or acrylic yard, but only a roll or two of cotton thread that is normally used for that purpose.So I would make a few cloths from what I had and she could see if any of them suited her. During my crocheting, I decided to double and in some cases, triple my threads to see how it would work for these type of cloths. Wallah! I was elated at the results I got. They were turning out beautifully, so I am in the process of making more, thus using up my thread supply a bit faster. I am so thankful and glad I experimented and came up with this idea. I have been matching up 3 colors and making some really nice cloths. I am so excited over this new found method, I can hardly force  myself put them down when it comes bedtime.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sleepless Nights

multi-purpose covered pickle jar

Most folks who have followed my blog for awhile, know how I enjoy using things that others would discard, and making something useful and pretty from it. I don't like to make a lot of things that serve no purpose. I suspect that stems from the fact that I, personally, have too many collectibles, just sitting around, looking pretty, but serve no actual purpose. One can only display so many things, then you run out of space to set anything else,needed to function with your daily routine.

The dish cloths and the pin cushions, pictured, are old standbys for sleepless nights, but the little catch all jar is a new project, or shall I say, another version of an older idea. I have used throw away jars in many ways before, but I decided to put a new twist on this one. I have so much fabric,and much of it is not usable in quilting. It's really pretty, but I must find other ways of using it up.

I spoke to a good friend here lately about possibly starting up a crafting session. She and her daughter are burned out on trying to sell their products through various venues, so they are "throwing in the towel". We discussed getting together and making crafts at my house, mostly to use up some of my supplies, and to satisfy our desire for crafting, not necessarily for selling purposes. I usually give most of my crafts as gifts, sooner or later.I have donated many to auctions to raise money for folks who might be down on their luck. That is definitely, satisfying to me. I get the pleasure of making them, and then the satisfaction of knowing I am helping someone in need.

Many of my ideas never get off the ground, but this is one plan I will be working diligently toward accomplishing. I am not making this one of my New Year's Resolutions. They are so hard for me to achieve, but one can only hope that all goes well with my new idea. Only time will tell.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Time for Some Indoor Projects

One of my favorite projects is making tags. These tags are for any and all occasions.They say,
Just "A Little Something" to let you know that you were on my mind today. I put these tiny tags on little hand made gifts that I pass out for various occasions, whether it be for Christmas, Birthdays, or simply a Thinking of you gift. I'll glue a tiny flower on each tag and using a hole punch, make a hole to attach a pretty ribbon. They add a nice personal touch to the gift. I never or hardly ever buy new supplies. Ninety per cent of my supplies are from recyclables and/or yard sales and consignment stores. I use a lot of brown paper from packing in various boxes I receive in the mail,brown paper bags, and even the inner lining from some food products such as sugar. Very little is wasted in my home. I purchased a second hand book lately from Amazon, entitled  The Money Making Secrets of the Amish. There wasn't anything mentioned in that book,that I am not already doing in my household.

This is an example from the free picture site.

Another project I've gotten interested in here lately is making stars from discarded barbed wire. Many folks use rusty wire, but since we have recently purchased several new acres of ground, I have been rounding up lots of new barbed wire that was pushed out with the bulldozers when the land was cleared. While Pop is cutting cedars and firewood, I busy myself gathering anything I might find interesting for use in my crafts. Barbed wire, acorns,walnuts, pine cones,bird nests,etc. Now if I could only find some type of berry that would dry well and go nicely on my barbed wire stars.That may be my next challenge. Coming up with a method for making those berries. They are way too expensive to buy.

I made a couple of stars, but gave them away as gifts before I got to save pictures. The picture above is not my star, but  simply a picture I borrowed from the free picture site on the web.

Hoarders Anonymous Anyone?

Is there such a group as Hoarders Anonymous? You know, like Alcoholics Anonymous. A group to help folks deal with the reasons why and to, hopefully, overcome the desire to collect more and more stuff. I do have a problem with collecting stuff. Not near to the extreme I heard of this weekend, but bad enough that my husband complains about it a lot. Granted, he is going to complain about one of my shortcomings, regardless, so why not let it be this one. For some strange reason, this one is more of a "sore spot" than any of my other shortcomings. The reason "why" is a mystery to me, unless it is the fact that I am ashamed of this fault and have no legitimate excuse, that I am aware of, anyway.I have curtailed my yard sale and flea market and consignment store shopping since Mom's death. What one has to do with the other, I'm not sure, but I have nearly stopped visiting all of those places.

This past week end, we had a family gathering at the nephew's camp site on Rough River, and some of us folks were sitting around the campfire, late in the evening, chatting as we always do.Ultimately,some fool has to bring up hoarding. It seems that topic comes up a lot, and as you might guess, I get to feeling very uncomfortable.

 I am ashamed and embarrassed about my problem, but like every other aspect of my life, I had a good plan, in the beginning. It just never got off the ground. I will be putting this topic at the top of my list for the new year. Hopefully, I will make a little progress in my decluttering and organizing my life and my "stuff". 

Oh, to be a turtle, for awhile anyway!

Time is moving so quickly and it seems there is not enough time in a day to get all of the necessary things done. Not to mention a few things I'd simply like to do for pleasure. My crafts have fallen by the wayside. Not only because of the usual commitments one has to fulfill daily, but life in general, just seems to get in the way.

Pop's ex-wife, the mother of his two daughters, passed away this past month. We have been helping the girls and the two grandchildren to work through that loss. Mostly spending a lot of time doing things with them that we feel might help. We know that grieving is something that everyone must go through, in their own way, but Pop worries they might not be handling it the best, on their own. With my Mom passing this past March, I do understand that it takes time to heal. There's no rushing it,either. Time will help, and not everyone handles death in the same way.

The Grand daughter is into Archery nowadays. She has her first competition tomorrow. All thoughts,preparations, and plans for Christmas must wait. She is a teenager now. We had to wait until 8 PM Sunday night, to celebrate her 13th birthday. Her Mother is now a Nurse Practitioner, and she didn't get off work until 8 o"clock. Hurry up and wait. It seems that's our motto nowadays.

The nurse's husband will be retiring from his job as an EMT as of the last day of 2013.Plans are in the making for him a celebration. He'll have his hands full being Mr. Mom and managing the many apartments and houses they own and rent out. It has been a struggle for him for quite some time, keeping them all maintained and the grass mowed for all. Sounds like he needed to retire long before this.

Then...we have a couple of good friends who will be celebrating 60 years of being married. That is practically unheard of this day and age. We simply must attend.

I still have not finalized my Christmas shopping, nor wrapped the gifts I have purchased, but I did squeeze in enough time to put up a few Christmas decorations.Nothing like I usually put up, but it will have to do.

Does Anyone Ever Get Back to Normal

Normal is a word which I can no longer use to describe my life, but I am trying to get back to something close.  I lost my Mother on March 12 of this year. It's only been one month now, and it still hurts so bad, that I cannot call her or just go by for a visit. I have been busying myself with house and yard chores and even gone fishing a time or two. Something I had never done in my lifetime. Yes. There are a few minutes, now and then, that I can carry on without the pain swelling up inside of me, but just a single thought can bring it all back again. Mom was such a huge part of my world. She and Dad moved away in 1972, to an island down in south Georgia, and they remained there for 27 years. I wrote to Mom quite often, since phone calls were so expensive, and we'd send tapes back and forth, but still it was not like having her close, here in Kentucky, where I could drop by once in awhile. When they finally moved back to Kentucky, Dad was getting along in years and in bad health. That was the main reason they moved back. His family was all buried in Hardin County, and that's where he wanted to be buried, but we had no clue it would be that soon. They purchased a house in 1999 and Dad died in the Fall of 2001.That made it more important that I visit and spend time with Mom as often as possible. She was now alone, and she did not drive. Several of the nine children had abandoned Mom during Dad's dying, and that made it more important that I be there for her. Now, twelve years later, Mom was stricken with Dementia and Alzheimer's. She had already lost most of her eyesight due to Macular Degeneration in both eyes, then with the other two problems, her life as she once knew it was gradually slipping away. It started out slowly. She would loose things that she used all through out the day. Namely, her glasses and her cane. She forgot how to use her appliances. How to operate the TV and such things. She'd hear the phone ring when it really had not rung, but she'd jump up all through the night to answer it anyway. Many times, falling as she did so, since she was loosing the ability to get up and down without help. Many nights, on many occasions, when I'd stay over with her, she'd stir and ask me if I thought we should get the phone. I'd tell her the phone had not rung. She'd get frustrated because she felt she had heard it ring. Then came the pills. She'd worry constantly about it being time to take her pills. She was so afraid she would miss taking her pills. We had already divided her pills up in tiny containers and labeled them for her to know when to take what, but even that got confusing to her. She would nap quite often, and when she would awaken, she would be disoriented about the time, whether it be day or night. Since my one sister, Rita, and I, were left to care for Mom, during the last few months of her life, we now had to make the decision that one of us must stay with her around the clock, at all times. Five of the other children did their usual disappearing act as Mom lay dying. No visits. No calls. No Birthday cards. Nothing. Unless you count the one brief visit from one son, and then two brief visits from a son-in-law, who only came because he was a volunteer as an EMT. Mom would cry and pray, then cry and pray some more. Wondering and questioning us as to why her children were not by her side as she lay dying. This went on for a couple of months, but still, five of the children did not come or even call to see how she was doing. We had a dinner for the two brothers who had been communicating with Mom all along. Then on her birthday, Rita and I tried to make it as pleasant as possible for Mom. She turned 87 on the 30th of January. Still no communications from the five other children. We can only assume the hate that made them behave in such a way when Dad lay dying, had taken over their hearts once more. The sad part is that three of the children live 8 miles away and one live 3 blocks from Mom. What kind of explanation can one give for treating their parents in such a horrible way. Many times you see and hear them speak of God. Whatever God they are using that condones such actions as they have displayed, while their parents lay dying, is not the same God I worship. My God wants us to be respectful, forgiving, loving, compassionate, considerate, empathetic, caring. None of these things described the way they were treating our Mother as she lay dying. I'm sure they will conjure up all sorts of excuses as to why they treated Mom and Dad both in the way they did as they lay dying.
As for myself, although I grieve and miss my Mother every minute of every day, if I had it to do all over, I would spend several more months with her, even if it meant time away from my own home and family all over again ,and I'd  do everything humanly possible to make her life as comfortable and pleasant as I possibly could during her final days. I can truly say that for me and my sister, Rita, No excuse will ever be good enough for what they have done, nor will they convince me that they are Christians.I am hurt and bitter,because of the way they treated our Mother. I may heal, in time, and I may even reach a point where I can forget and forgive them for the pain they caused her,but for now,it hurts too bad,and I can not, so getting back to normal, may be impossible for me.