Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A Difficult GoodBye

 In looking at the date, it's hard to realize it's been more than 4 weeks since my beautiful Mother in Love left this realm for the next.

None of the Shoulda, Coulda, Wouldas make any difference at all now. There are layers of grief and anger. Bickering and name calling. It's so, so sad.

Arlene and I were close. By default, I was her favorite Daughter-in-Law. (Bob's been divorced for years!)
I was looking forward to her coming to stay with us.

She bore six children, four girls and two boys. The eldest was Joni. Joni was a beautiful little girl that suffered from seizures, and passed away when she was five years old. Arlene and I talked about losing children. Joni passed when Tom was two,  Angie was three and a half. She didn't have time to process her loss- the chaos of life propelled her forward.

Arlene was 87 years old. She told me many stories of her growing up. She was a handful, as the youngest girl. (She had two younger brothers- one passed away at 7 years old, of something that could of been cured with antibiotics. Antibiotics hit the market some six months later.)
Arlie was a beauty. Vain, by her own admission... she didn't like to see age on her face.
She was strong, and opinionated. Always caring, she was often exasperated at the behavior of her children. "I just birthed them, and did my best. I can't help how they've turned out," she would say as political arguments broke out at the picnic table on her deck. But she loved them all dearly.

Arlene always had a song. From silly little ditties like "She has freckles on her BUT she's pretty!", to old commercials, or classic songs from other eras.
She set an example for me, as a grandmother, to get the cousins together and do fun things with them while they visited. From visits to the beach at Lake Logan, trips to the zoo, the Firemen Festival, or the Pumpkin Show; to visiting state parks and hiking, or simply playing Scrabble around the dining room table... she made memories with the grandchildren. She attended ball games, and traveled hundreds of miles to watch stage performances. She was a regular at the ball games, school events, and GrandParent days of her local grandchildren.

On April 17, two days after Arlie would of turned 88, there will be a graveside memorial service in Raymond Ohio. It will be followed by a Celebration of  Life at the Raymond Community Center.

I  am struggling with grief. As a Christian, I know where Arlene is now. She's beyond our sorrow, renewed in her youth, all cares of this world left behind. We should be happy when our beloved have moved on. Grief is for those who remain here. We miss the place that belonged to those who have left us behind. I don't think it is wrong to mourn our losses.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

As Time Goes By....

 It has been 40 full days since my beautiful MIL was remanded to the medical community. Initially, we were told her surgery went well. Apparently, it's what we don't know that gets us.
They completely removed the hip prosthesis. We have (much later) been told that lack of a hip joint is, in itself, debilitatingly painful. The rehab hospital increased her pain medications, as she was screaming in pain.
Once she was over CV19, MIL got pneumonia. For the past month, she has subsisted on sips of water, and an occasional bite of applesauce. Over this past weekend, she was moved to Hospice care. Arlene's health has declined like a rocket sled. Last week, she was given "maybe 2 days" to live.
We have been, like most of the country, locked in to a major weather system. There has been no let up in the waves of cold, snow, and ice since we were told that Arlene will NOT be coming home. Tom's siblings have been to see her, as often as they can.
With a favorable turn in the weather, maybe Tom will be able to make the trip to see her.
My heart holds on to hope. 

Meanwhile, "back at the ranch"... Tom suffered an episode with his  posterior. Our ten minute Doctor Go expertise would say that he had a  Superior Cluneal Nerve entrapment. (We use DuckDuckGo, rather than a more common search engine). The ER Docs believe either this was correct, or he has a bulging disk. He was given several shots and sent home. I had to brave the storm and go back out for the prescription medications, as the pharmacy was three hours from opening when he was released. My white knuckled drive home from the ER was compounded by Tom's pain. The return trip... well. Oklahoma and Arkansas are SOUTHERN states. Quite unprepared for blizzard conditions. The snow and wind had hit in earnest as we had driven home.
I made it back to the pharmacy, discovering I'd left my gloves at home. The entrance I parked closer to, nearest the pharmacy, was now barricaded off. I slipped and shivered my way to the opposite end of the store. I got to the pharmacy... and their "drop off" window was closed. It was half an hour past its opening time. A manager sat behind the counter...  I was informed that the store had suffered a broken water main, and the pharmacy would be closed for the next week. (I burst into tears.) I slipped and slid my way across town to a smaller pharmacy... where the pharmacist jumped through hoops to get the prescriptions transferred. Trust me on this... you don't want to need medication on a Sunday, in a small town coated in ice as the worst storm of this century hits. I made it back home, drugs in hand.
I am so very grateful that Sam had stayed up during the midnight watch with Tom, allowing me a couple of hours of sleep, however fitful they were. I used his All Wheel Drive Subaru both trips to town... and stayed on the road when others failed. (I stayed on where the suggestion of road appeared to be! There was NO visible road.)
Eventually, the steroids reduced the swelling that was trapping the nerve bundle, and Tom was able to move without so much pain.
The snows came. They stopped. They came again. And yet, again. We are entered into the third week of below zero temperatures. (It was -20 two mornings ago. That was NOT counting wind chill.) The snow has been powder sugar fine. We "Only" got about 8" on level surfaces, once the wind quit. Deep drifts. Tom missed one day of work. Sam's boss called them off for 4 1/2 days. During this week, our bathtub drain froze. Tom discovered that it has one place where the drain slopes UP and not down. This caused an ice dam. The TV went out, and our secondary refrigerator failed. But, we have had electricity, and propane, so our house has been warm and we have had water. There are millions without, across the country.
Aurora LOVES the snow. We let her out to 'take care of business', and she doesn't want to come back inside. Jaffa, on the other hand, has dragged his blanket over near the heater, and stays curled up inside of it. He is as "over" the pretty white stuff as I am!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Ai Yi Yi

 Arlene's surgery went well last Thursday. We received word that the surgical team was done with her. She was being released into a rehab facility to regain mobility... supposedly as of today.
We have not heard whether she is actually going to be transferred there today or not... as she tested positive for CV19 last night.

Prayers are appreciated!

Last Friday, with the Third Try Being the Charm... Nickole had the Herbst device installed. It came complete with a voice activated lisp. Eating anything takes 5x longer than it used to... and she has never been a quick eater.

Mr C has started a keto diet. I had been cooking more low calorie meals recently, and was starting to lose some weight. He figures keto will have him shedding lbs. in no time. Thankfully,  I have the Trim Healthy Mama cookbooks. I can make "s" meals, which are pretty well keto.
   Last night I did a deconstructed cabbage roll for supper. Tonight- fish, asparagus, and more salad. The salad is a maybe, if I don't go with  the fish served with sesame seed crust over a bed of wilted spinach and sauteed cherry tomatoes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Deja Vu ...

 Hello, Faithful Friends!
This  is what was going on a year ago, give or take a week. ( Air cleared ).
Arlene is once again in the hospital with hip problems. They started a surgery Monday (the 11th) and had to close her right back up, due to excessive bleeding. Further investigation, the artificial hip is broken, and pieces have migrated into a conjunction of blood vessels, causing at least some degree of internal bleeding. Once again, there is an elevated degree of infection.
After further testing and a discussion among doctors, the surgery is rescheduled for Thursday, the 14th. They intend to replace the prosthesis. Afterward will be another stint in rehab.

So meanwhile, back at the (not quite a) ranch, my sweet wonderful children and husband intend to prepare a place for Arlene. (A small guesthouse, where she can have her own space, yet be around family and make sure her needs are met.) She had seemed to like the idea, though had not committed to coming before this unexpected hospitalization. Now, she has little choice, which does make me sad. In our discussions over the last few weeks, she had said she KNOWS she can no longer live on her own. Those who might have chosen to stay with her made other decisions. She adamantly does NOT want to go into assisted living, or into a nursing home. (The stint in rehab isn't negotiable!) She needs to keep her two older cats.
  SO! Once she's on the road to recovering, our place will become a whirlwind of preparation. We are discussing putting in a pre-built shell (outer walls, subflooring, & roof, windows, and door(s); and finishing it into a "Granny Pad".
I have several ideas...
*putting the kitty box in an enclosed cupboard/ vanity in the bathroom- it will reduce litter on the floors, thereby reducing slip hazards.
*A step-in shower, floor level, with handrails.
*A tall toilet, with a warm water bidet. (If we are fitting the place out from scratch, running the hot water line a couple more feet should NOT be a problem.) (And handrails!) That should give her a lot more privacy/ autonomy.
*a 'mini-split' HVAC
*She won't need a huge kitchen, but I figure a small fridge, microwave, and induction burner should be included. Unless I am mistaken about induction burners, it would be the safest option out there.
*an outdoor sitting area where she can have her picnic table that Jack built for her.

On flooring, I have been looking into the best options for seniors to "age in place". Ben and I discussed the plank flooring, but with an additional layer of the padded underlay.
We really need to make it handicapped accessible, even if she's NOT completely handicapped.
Down the road, the place can be a guest cottage.
While the Granny Pad is under construction, I may need to go stay in her home with her, on a short term basis. (This means Nickole as well!)
I'd like to get starts of all her beautiful flowers, and plant them around the house here. (I have no idea if one can propagate rhododendron... she's got a treasured one in her front yard).

I know I don't have a lot of regular readers, but I would appreciate any input as to things I may need to take into consideration in moving her 800+ miles across country.
I know we will need to set up new doctors, banks, possibly her insurance may change.
Mostly, please keep her in your prayers.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Martha, Martha, Martha

 My last post was way back in October... and here we are on the eve of a brand new year.
Once again, I have no 'resolutions'.

What I do have is fretfulness.
What do we do when we don't know WHAT to do, and there seems to be no ready solution?
  I was in the shower after emailing a friend. I outlined my stress and worries to her. As I washed,  Martha came to mind. The Martha of the Bible. She was busy making things happen. Sometimes, she got exasperated when others did their own thing, instead of pitching in to help.
Showering, I was convinced that there really aren't enough people who set aside what THEY would rather be doing, to make sure that other people get the care they need.
I was looking up what we know about Martha in the Bible. Was she too busy "doing" to sit and listen to Jesus? Perhaps we we have more scriptures regarding Martha than we do Mary. We know Mary sat and listened to Jesus. Martha served. Maybe she really wanted to sit and listen as well... but someone has to cook the food, wash the dishes, chase the children. Martha stood guard between the chaos of life, and this allowed Mary the opportunity of sitting at Jesus feet. Jesus didn't rebuke Martha for getting things done, He simply told her that her sister had chosen the better option.

I wonder what happened next. Did Martha take a seat?

Here I am fretting over things that need to be done. Things out of my personal power to control. I was told, we will need to pray about what to do. I AM praying. (How can I pray and fret at the same time?)

"We will do something when we hear from The Lord. HE will tell us what to do."
(Yes! but Lord, You know You are going to have to be incredibly plain spoken on what we need to DO. Otherwise, we sit and do nothing... because some of us can't hear You unless You shout. And send a notarized, certified letter with explicit instructions.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

It's the end of October. What a ride.

 Things have been awful, crazy. 

And not in the light hearted "awfully crazy" turn of phrase.

On the 3rd, Tom's nephew Luke was admitted to ICU with acute liver failure.
On the 4th (highlight!) My mom's birthday, and a cyber-reunion of the Taylor Family.
On the 5th, Nickole and I had our teeth cleaned. She had a cavity that needed to be filled before she could get a dental device installed.
October 6th, Nickole had a tooth filled.
The 7th, Benjamin's Birthday! (highlight!) Nickole had an orthodontist appointment to install spacers for her device.
Oct 9th,  I met Nickole's mom & Poppo Glen, so that Nickole could spend Fall Break with them. Glen wasn't feeling well, and they were going straight to his doctor's appointment. Daniel came up to our house, enroute to get his new puppy, Dante. Dakota Rose (3.3) rode up with Dan, to go to Ohio with Tom and I.
Daniel and Sam took us out to supper at The Wooden Spoon . While there, we got the call, Glen had been admitted to the hospital with Covid19.
Oct. 10th, we headed to Ohio in two vehicles. Dan and I branched off near Indianapolis, and headed to Michigan That State Up North

to get his puppy. We stayed at a motel for the night, and picked up Dante the next morning. (an adventure in itself!) Tom and Dakota continued on to Arlene's. Luke had been released from the hospital into Home Hospice care.
Dan, Dante, and a homesick Dakota headed back to Texas. They didn't get far before Dan's truck developed trouble and they returned to Arlene's.

Getting them back to Texas had its challenges. Dan used our vehicle while his truck went into the shop. The initial problem was fixed. But then something else happened, and then another thing, and then another... It was crazy. Like the truck was determined we should stay in Ohio.

So, Dan used our vehicle to return to Arkansas. I rode along with them, and flew back to Ohio on the 15th. That night, Luke passed away. He'd returned to the hospital by ambulance that morning.
Two of Tom's sisters came to Arlene's for the day on the 16th.

My 60th birthday was the 20th. No cake, no fanfare. We ordered take-out pizza for supper.
Somewhere in here, we got the call that Glen had taken a turn for the worse.
I think it was the 21st, we learned that Glynna had CV19, as a result of having been caring for Glen before they knew why he was so sick. Nickole's quarantine was extended. Then, either the 21st or 22nd, Poppo Glen passed away.
Friday the 23rd (may have dates wrong) Glynna was hospitalized with pneumonia in addition to the CV19.
Sunday the 25th, Tom and I set off for home.
Dear sweet Sam had put up much needed, begged for, overdue lighting in our bathrooms while we were gone!
We spent Monday cleaning.  Glynna was released from the hospital.
Today is Tuesday... and it's "winter". Cold, raining. Freezing rain over where Nickole is still quarantined, So we still can't go get her. We had intended for her to get to stay until her Poppo's funeral, but we have so much to get done!
We still need to swap vehicles with Dan. The dogs need to be taken to caregivers for our Peru trip. There is shopping to be completed and SO MUCH STUFF.
Please keep our family in your prayers. Thank you!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

September Wings

 If ever a month has flown, it has been this one!
The garden is on its last leg. Flowers have been dead-headed for seed. One okra plant was designated for seed, and several of the pods on it are near to bursting. A few straggly tomatoes are slowly ripening their last fruits. The deer re-discovered the green beans and okra, as Aurora became an Inside Dog. Tom is currently harvesting seed from his cover crop of buckwheat.
Next weekend is my Mom's birthday! (You still have time to get cards into the mail!)

Also, it will be the Taylor Family Reunion. This year, due to Covid19, we are having it via "Zoom". (Sunday, October 4th from 2-4 PM. Contact me if you need details to attend!)

October promises to be every bit as action packed as September has been. Between school, dental & orthodontic appointments, in-state and out of state travel, preparations for Tommy's November wedding in Peru, I need a pocket planner to keep up! In addition to Mom's birthday, Benjamin will be 32. Kimber turns 11, and I will be 60. Chris will have been locked up for 11 years.

The weather has been perfect for the last couple of weeks, already starting to feel like Fall.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Suddenly, it's mid-September

School got off to such a great start last month. Then, travel happened. Not that travel isn't educational.

I had the opportunity to see Grandson 1.3. Having missed out on having "Camp CowGranny" this year, I asked Mr C to take an extra day off work. We had planned to pick up 1.3 at my niece's house in Lawton, and travel on down to the Texas kids' homes. I had thought 1.3 and 3.1 would have such a great time together! 3.2 was SO looking forward to seeing 2.1. But, 2.1 asked to stay at her Mom and Poppo's house.
This ended up having its good and bad points.
Our plan was to leave the dogs outside when we departed on Friday morning. Sam would feed them when he got home from Jonesboro that night. But on Thursday, we learned Sam wouldn't be home until Saturday, and we dare not leave the dogs out, alone, that long. The dogs would have to come with us!
We took the truck (which seats 3 uncomfortably!), with the dogs in crates in the back. Mr C fretted terribly, so we stopped and put the dogs into the cab with us... three humans and two dogs in a space designed for two!
We stopped to drop 2.1 off. Nobody was home. 2.1 called, as no one was responding to OUR calls. 2.1 informed us that her Mom and Poppo were in OKC! We'd driven through there more than an hour before. We were NOT pleased to hear that. We were informed they were on their way back, and we could leave 2.1 alone at the house. Except 2.1 had loudly declared this... and the two sketchy looking guys roofing the house across the street took interest.
Nope- NOT leaving her alone. I said we should go get lunch, as we needed to eat, and it would fill time. We headed to town... and got a call from "Poppo". He was at his house now, where were we? Seems 2.1 can't just give a message.  She interpreted it. NOBODY said her Poppo and Mom were in OKC. She was told they were "at the hospital", and on their way home. The LOCAL hospital 10 miles up the road.
We wrongly assumed Mom was in the house when we left, having been to the ER and dismissed. We learned as we returned Monday, Mom had been hospitalized all weekend with diabetic ketoacidosis. 2.1 never even got to see her.
We took off and got 1.3 picked up, and made it to the Snanjlo area by 8PM. It was a great visit, with all but three of the grands.

Upon our return on Monday, we were asked if we could sell one of our vehicles to Tommy. It was agreed.
Hurricane Laura was just making landfall, and we were expecting torrential rains, so the delivery of the vehicle was to be the next week.  2.1 and I headed down on Tuesday, with the intention of seeing my folks in East Texas Tuesday evening, and heading on to Dallas on Wednesday. The "plan" was to go to church with Tommy on Wednesday night, and then fly home Thursday morning. This plan was defeated when the car had problems on the way down. I stayed Wednesday at my folks house, and took the car in to have the "code" checked. A bad spark plug! Mr C and Ralph deemed it OK to drive home for repairs on Friday.

Mr C got it tuned up, a whole new set of sparkies! The following week, I set out directly for Dallas on Friday. We had a lovely visit with Tommy. He took us to the airport Saturday morning. (This made three trips to Texas in three weeks time!)
Oh,  2.1 came home with a runny nose and a bad cough from her visit with Poppo. I treated it as allergies, since mine had also flared. We were dueling snot faucets all week. On the Friday after we got back from Snanjlo, she awakened with a terrible sore throat. Looking at the back of her throat- white blisters. I figured "strep". Strep isn't anything to mess around with. I took her to the doctor. She was tested for strep. "NEGATIVE!".... so they decided to check for COVID19, "just in case", as Poppo had taken her to a street carnival. The swab was taken, and we were sent home to quarantine until we got the results. This was also negative. Since she hadn't felt well all week, we didn't do any school.

Meanwhile, our garden has been going full tilt. Last year, it was pretty well "done" by the first week in August. Here we are in the middle of September, and I am still canning stuff at least every other day. I had told Mr C back in the Spring, the garden would surely be done before we were to head to Peru for Tommy's wedding. Seems that may be true, but only because CV19 postponed the wedding! (Now scheduled for Nov.)

I have to make another trip to Texas before the Peru trip. And Tom rescheduled his vacation, so we will also get a chance to go see his Mom. We now have THREE trips on the agenda. It's great that we ARE homeschooling. We can take school with us when we need to, or work school around our trips.

Also on the home front, Mr C and Sam got the front porch power washed and resealed. It looks great.
Our poultry was re-homed.
Aurora became an "inside" dog while visiting her Uncle Becky. She's a big dog for being in a small house! While she hasn't had any accidents inside, she doesn't quite understand why she can't chew the walls, carpeting, or furniture. We are going to have to repair and paint the hallway where she's torn off chunks of wall paper and chewed the trim to splinters. One morning, I heard her gnawing on something that sounded decidedly plastic. I asked her, "WHAT have you GOT?"
Aurora immediately stretched her long nose over the evidence. I repeated, "What do you have there?"
She stuck her paw up under her nose, and dragged the object back under her chest. She gives me the innocent, "What? Who? ME? I don't have anything!" doggy grin. I moved her over. She had Nickole's favorite goggles! (In fairness, Nickole HAD left them out on her floor, despite having been told to put her toys away! Fair game!)

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

August & Back to School

 It's not quite mid- August. We are getting a later start at back-to-school than I had intended. I had hoped for the last week of July, but we will just press on from here.
I am already suffering curriculum set-backs. The "Good and Beautiful" History kit is still on back order- and when Tom cleared the history on the computer, my link to my paid downloads disappeared. The company auto-replied in email, they can't even get to my email to read for a number of days.

This year, Nickole is studying Astronomy, and Chemistry. (Today, we built a Robot from a kit, just for fun!)

 We are supposed to do US History, whenever our kit eventually gets here. For Math, I am trying "Life of Fred", and supplementing with Khan Academy. Khan Academy is also what we are doing for Language Arts, at the moment. We have Home Economics. I'm very disappointed in the course I bought, but can use it as a starting point. (It's Nutrition section uses things like bullion cubes... when I can teach her to make a stupid-easy bone broth that is FAR better for ones health!) We have Geography, and Geography through Art. I hope the two play nicely together! We are continuing our Atlas Adventures from last semester. We are continuing to read- Nickole is a voracious "listener"- she goes through audio books at a crazy pace. I do require actual READING, and we continue to go to the library. My friend Lori and I plan to do many field trips, though Lori isn't starting school until after Labor Day. Field trips and extracurricular classes are a challenge, due to Covid19 restrictions.

The garden is finally taking off. It was quite late in getting started, as the cool, wet weather hung on well into June. Last year, most of my canning was over with by the end of July. This year, I didn't get enough to even begin canning until this month (August).

I've been doing a few jars of green beans, and a few jars of tomatoes several times a week. A recent visit to my folks in Texas gave me a good start on pickles. I guess I should say 'traditional' pickles! I already have a cupboard full of Squickles. That's what I decided to call squash pickles!
The zucchini seems to be dying off at last. We have had squash relish, squash casserole, grilled squash, roasted squash, fried squash, sauteed squash, squash 'fries', Granny's Garden Veggie Saute (featuring squash), spiral zoodles, fried spiral zoodles, squash bread, squash as lasagna noodles ... I am sure I am leaving some uses out. The yellow squash has got a second wind.
We have done jellies and jams. Strawberry, blackberry, plum, mixed berry, peach... and I am only just getting enough peppers to consider jalapeno jelly.
The okra is finally giving us a few shy pods per day. The first batch of corn was the WORST corn I have ever tasted. Hopefully, this second batch will be better. We shall soon know!

The trip to my folks was fun. It had to be short, due to the garden needing care. I met Becky and her kids there. We made a couple hundred tamales with Grandma Rose!

That's all for today! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Another post, and it's still July!

Sam's work crew decided they will start early today, as it has been so hot & humid. He was out the door by 5:30 this morning.
Aurora wasn't in her usual position as a door stop on the front mat, so Mr C and I spent a few minutes calling her. The air outside feels like tepid bath water. Not cool, not uncomfortably warm... but very moist and NOT refreshing. Aurora showed up- I don't like it that she's taken to wandering!

Yesterday, I made some squash pickles. I used calcium chloride to help with crispness... and since it had zero instructions, I can only hope I used it correctly! I did three pints of dill, six of bread & butter. The canning closet is already starting to look full, and we haven't really started getting tomatoes. (We have brought in a few, but not enough to deal with.)
I need to make something like Granny's Garden vegetable Saute for supper soon!

We are staggering along in kind of a limbo, waiting on word of Tommy & Ruby's wedding. We don't want to reschedule our flights any more often than necessary... and if the current restrictions in Peru don't change, we may need to find something else to do with Mr C's vacation allotted for the wedding. It's less than 55 days until we were supposed to depart!

Becky & I have been walking "together" a couple of evenings. Last night, it was 104* as she set out just barely before sundown. It was 88* here. We walk and chat on the phone as we go! It gives us a little chance to visit... and ensures I DO take my much needed walk. I've enjoyed it a lot. (I have talked to my DIL Paula several times this week. Ben's been TDO, and it's not easy for her to get out of the house with four kids!)

I hope your day is blessed!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Few things are more fun than...

A box of new curriculum for the coming school year!
I ordered from several different places- today's box is the first to arrive.
In today's arrivals:
Home Economics!
I ordered  Lessons in Responsibilities for Girls 8-12 . I looked through it briefly, and have already found a few things I disagree with... but we can work with this! (In the nutrition chapter, it talks about clear soups, and enhancing them with bullion cubes. Bullion cubes are far from nutritious! We will discuss WHY I disagree, and explore better options! We will learn to make a bone broth instead... and why it is a better choice.)
I got Exploring Geography Through Art. I am hoping it won't be too advanced for Nickole, so will be looking more closely at the book in the next few days.
I got Exploring the World Through Geography: Focus on the United States. (Plus a deck of States & Capitals Flash Cards).
We got Apologia Science's Exploring The Creation Through Astronomy.
We ordered "Life of Fred Edgewood" and "LOF Farms" for Math. Each covers different math concepts that Nickole really needs to grasp. If LOF works- I will proceed with their curriculum. It presents math in a different way that maybe she will be able to take hold to.

Still to arrive is the Good and The Beautiful order, with History and Chemistry.
We will continue with Atlas Adventures as well.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Summer's half over!

Since I last posted, The whole CV19 thing has continued to rollercoaster. The lower the death rate, the more hype we hear about face masks and shutdowns! The virus now has a 99.6% survival rate.
You pretty much have to have a mask available to go in anywhere, though few places around us REQUIRE them. (Our library and orthodontic office do.)

Nickole got braces! Just this week. The Orthodontist expects 24 month of braces.
She got up with an attitude this morning, and I got up tired. Not a good combination for us. This is the co-operation I got for her showing her braces for a picture. She's been all about showing the braces off every other time. The devices on her head are some sort of flashing LED gizmo goggles.

I am tired because we had 'excitement' last night.
Sam got set of carving implements, to make bowls & cups of wood. He plans to use some of the fallen hickory tree branches.The carving set arrived yesterday. Sam got to work on his first project last evening. Approximately two minutes (or less) into the carving, he was back in the house rinsing a bad cut from the curved tool (top).
It was bad enough he didn't argue over stitches, and went to the ER without a fuss. It wasn't as bad as it looked- he only needed 5 stitches. (I had figured between 8 & 20).
Of course, due to COVID19, I waited in the car while he was inside. We made quite a pair on the way home- me driving with my right arm in a cast, he with his left encased in bandaging.

AFTER we got home, and were trying to get ready for bed... Sam's dog Aurora alerted us with her "Timmy's fallen into the well!" bark. (She has "Cow's are in our yard!" bark. "Someone is here, I hope they give me a treat!" bark, "What's this?, should I keep barking at it?" bark, and the alarmed "Help, Help! Timmy's Fallen Into the Well!")
Sam went out to see what had become of "Timmy". It was FIVE raccoons trying to get into the chicken pen. He had to awaken Tom to access the firearms... and four of the 'coons were dispatched with alacrity.

Oh, I haven't been blogging in a couple of months... We went to Ohio the first week of June. While there, we slept on our air bed in Tom's Mom's living room. Mom had adjourned early (She is doing SO much better!) and we had visited Tom's brother on the deck until fairly late. Once Bob left, Tom started inflating the air mattress. I sat on the couch with a glass of adult beverage, reading a book.
Unknown to me, Tom wandered away, going OUTSIDE and leaving the airbed pump running. The bed got full, and the pump went into an ear piercing Phazer-on-overload shriek. Nickole started screaming "COWGRANNY! COWGRANNY!"
I jumped up to see why Tom wasn't shutting the airbed pump off, and why Nickole was screaming for me... and tripped over the extended leg rest of the recliner Arlene had left up. (She's not able to push it closed, so leaves it open at times.)
I did a Flying Wallenda over the leg rest, which collapsed in & closed. My arms were extended out in front of me- and instead of grabbing that trapeze rung- I karate chopped the metal rungs of the nearby barstool as I fell.
I landed with a mighty crash that had Tom's nephew Luke running upstairs from their apartment below... the airbed was still EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEing for all it was worth, Nickole is still shrieking "COWGRANNY! COWGRANNY!"... and I'm laying there, wind knocked out of me, both hands in terrible pain, gasping for Nickole to just unplug the bed...
Tom comes in... wondering what the heck happened and what the screams are about.
He's mad that I've fallen- saying the bed wouldn't of exploded, and so what if it had?
Luke helped me up, and it was plain to see my right hand was broken. Luke got ice for it. I sat and gathered my wits for a moment, and started to put my shoes on. Tom asked why?
Because my hand is obviously broken and we need to go to the ER!
Three hours later, we are back. My right hand splinted, the left  badly sprained & swollen... but unbandaged, as the nurse said "You're gonna need one hand for hygiene!"
I'm now down to a week left before my hand is set loose. I'm sure it's going to take some recovery time even after that. (Typing is hunt & peck here!)

Ben & Paula had got to come visit in mid-May. Tommy came to visit shortly after we got back from Ohio. He & Sam made a load of heat & eat meals for me. Becky arrived before Tommy left... so my family has really rallied around me. Nickole has been forced to step up her help around here. The house standards are lowered- I vacuumed yesterday for the first time in almost a month. I have limited my driving- It's  hard to put a car in gear when you have to reach cross-body to do so!
Mom and my SIL Ruby came up when Nickole went to visit Glynna and Glenn (again). The garden was just starting to produce, and they brought goodies from Texas. We canned beans, peaches, squash,  and cucumbers while they were here.
The hand is getting better enough it doesn't ache all the time. I've missed having a right hand!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Close to home

One of my sons is incarcerated in Texas. Prisoners are treated "differently" when it comes to getting medical care. For example, when you get sick, you send a form to medical, and can usually be seen within two to three weeks. Most everyone is better before they are seen.
So, son and the whole group of prisoners in the pod (25 people) were moved to a different area of the jail. All were issued masks. Everyone's temperatures were taken.
The new area was filthy- son said it appeared to have not been cleaned since the facility was built. (They finally got cleaning supplies 9 days later).
Meanwhile, people in his pod start coming down with bad coughs.
Son runs a fever for a couple of days, it broke the second night. He is congested, feels like he's been hit by a truck. He started to feel so much better... except recurring headaches, and the darndest thing- he has NO sense of smell or taste. 
He said he opened a pouch of mackerel to add protein to his ramen- and even putting the open packet to his nose, he doesn't smell it... or anything else.

He was standing nearby when the 'pill cart' came by to issue medications for those with chronic conditions, and the Pill Lady was talking to the guard... their pod is in quarantine due to coronavirus exposure.
NONE of the people in his pod have been tested. 

I was worried, and called that Texas county's Corona Virus Hotline.
I learned that the sheriff's department reports their number of cases to the Health Department.
The health Department has no authority to force testing on any facility.
The health department doesn't have enough tests available to test everyone who suspects they MIGHT have CV19, even those who they know were exposed to it.
ONLY the very sickest people are being tested.
The Hotline worker gave me the number to the sheriffs department, who referred me to the county hospital person in charge of jail patients.

I figure that nothing can/ will be done unless a person is on deaths door.

All of the cases of CV19 are NOT being reported, not even being tested. This means that it's way more widespread than the 'numbers' indicate in the news, and far less deadly over all. They are only testing the VERY sick... and still, MOST of those people recover.
The state I am in (for all intents and purposes) has tents set up in parking lots and poor neighborhoods, for ANYONE to go get tested who believes they may have The Virus.
Yet the person at the Hotline (in the Texas county I called) says there are not enough tests going on. 

Reliable sources in another Texas county says the National Guard is coming through to do tests on anyone with symptoms...

There is a lot of misinformation out there. Studies are finding that thousands have already had, or do have The Virus with NO symptoms. Others, such as my undiagnosed son, have symptoms and feel bad for a few days. Oh, I didn't mention, this son has asthma- hence my concern when he mentioned the symptoms and lack of diagnosing opportunity or available care.

My opinion is that the world needs to open back up. Let the virus run its course. The ones most vulnerable certainly should continue to use every precaution. Folks in large, closed environments should have added precautions.

We ALL want our loved ones to live their days in health, to the best of their abilities. No one wants people to die before their time. My dad always said, "You are dying from the moment you are born. It's part of life." That isn't any comfort when you have lost a loved one.
When Bill Joe died, someone pointed me to Psalm 139:16

"Your eyes saw my unformed body; all my days were written in Your book and ordained for me before one of them came to be."
And Job14:5 
Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.
God knows the number of our days.
God knows the number of our days.

Our minds could not bear this life we have here, if WE were given to know the number of days we have with any given person. We would live in fear and dread, rather than in love and hope.