Tuesday, August 2, 2022

August Steamrolls in

 It's August, Y'all. We're only in the mid 90's this week, after a good stretch of 100+ days. We got some blessed rain... though that is making it warm and humid, I am grateful for every drop. I pray my Texas family gets rain soon.

A lot of things are going on. The garden is just starting to give me tomatoes every day. If I canned today, I might put up 3 pints. I am postponing canning until tomorrow or Thursday. I am on my second batch of fermented pickles. The rain has revived the lemon cucumbers... We have had cucumber salad in various guises almost every day. (Tonight it will be made of lemon cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, dressed lightly with a balsamic fig dressing from Trader Joe's).
In a week, I will be canning tomatoes every other day or so!

Nickole is working hard on getting as much of her homeschooling for the coming term done as she can, before we leave. Becky and I, (and Paula for Jasher) are preparing for school on the road. We don't want to take a lot, nor overwhelm the kids with assignments. Travel itself has so much to add to a persons education. Lessons on the road will stave off boredom as we drive. Most of the kids have e-readers, but I also found a book series for kids that is set at various National Parks.
(The Campground Kids, by C.R. Fulton)  I anticipate reading aloud from these.

I've been working on getting the trip blog up and running. It still needs work. I need to link to Daniel's trip. Coddiwomple   https://coddiwomplepb4ugo.blogspot.com/ is the address.

Mr C and I have our 38th! anniversary tomorrow. We don't have any sort of celebration planned.

May you have a blessed day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Summer Bummers

 I think I live a quiet, sedate, completely normal life. Sometimes a bit of chaos gets tossed into the mix.
I am always believing that Life is just about to calm down and be normal.

Normal is a setting on the washing machine.

As of today, I am four weeks away from leaving for our Big Trip. I am gathering what I can gather. Listing my lists. Slogging through whatever comes along each day.

My Dad has had a turndown in his life since the first part of June. Everyone is coming to grips with the new 'normal' for him. It's a sad place when you know your mind is betraying you. The Parkinson's disease is slowly stealing his life away, and he realizes it. He's fighting against it.
His brother came to see him from California. Dad improved so much while his brother was there. Mr C and I drove to Texas and got to see Uncle for a couple of days. Two days after Uncle flew home, Dad had (another) bad fall- this time breaking his wrist. It's a simple break, straight across one of the bones, it should heal fine.

I got home from Texas on a Monday evening. We started getting things caught up, you know, back to our normal routine. Son Ben has given the fight against the suspicious mass in his nether region a hard battle. It's been just over a year of he and Paula throwing everything they can at it. Having done all, Ben felt backed against the wall. He made the Doctors appointments, and armed with the results of all they have done, was diagnosed with a solid mass tumor. It had to be removed. I flew down within a couple of hours of the call, and sat with Paula as the tumor was removed. It had to be sent off to Pathology for diagnosis. It was a seminoma- one of the most treatable forms of cancer. We will learn later this week what the next steps will be for Ben.

I flew home Sunday, as Nickole had an orthodontist appointment today. She goes back in just over 3 weeks to get her braces off!

Meanwhile, the day Uncle flew back to California, my Mom took sick to bed. She's had a fever and terrible cough. The fever comes, goes, comes, goes. her throat was so very sore. She finally went to an urgent care clinic. It's covid. This sent the entire family in that area in for testing, as well as their friends. All came back positive. Mom's been the most sick, but she did just get over pneumonia less than 2 weeks ago, so her system was down anyway. A call to Uncle in California sent that household out for testing. Yep... it's a big quarantine party in two states.

Meanwhile, I am just getting started on the blog for the big trip. Coddywomple is in its early stages.
I hope you have a great day today! Prayers for my family are really appreciated.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Heat Waves

 It's hot here in N E Oklahoma... but not as hot as my Texas family has it! I just looked at the forecast- you really can't guess too much more than a week out! But the Weather Guessers are predicting it to be over 100 every day between now and the first of August- with the exception of this coming Sunday,  at a mere 97* . The Texas family has had heat of 114 for several days... not counting the "heat index". That's a straight up number taken in the shade! Looks like Texas is looking to break the 1980 heat wave record of 100 days over 100*.

Mr C and I went down to East Texas this past weekend. Tom hasn't been down to see my folks in quite awhile. My Uncle Doug was in from California, getting a visit with his brother (and sister in Ft Worth) while he still can. Dad has done fair to middling on memory. Still doesn't think his house is his own home, and is seeing stuff. Uncle just goes with the flow. Yesterday, dad's primary doctor changed his provider to a home health care (Hospice) provider. (Non-terminal Hospice) So Dad will have a visiting nurse coming out. They will send someone to help clean and prepare light meals a day or two per week. I am hoping it gives my brother, and sister-in-law a break.

Got back to Oklahoma Monday evening, to our first fruits from the garden. Three baseball bats... er, zucchini. They hadn't been more than two inches long when we left Saturday morning. We also got several cucumbers. The little "lemon drop" cucumbers are loaded on the vine. I anticipate a large harvest of them not too many days from now. Meanwhile, I have sauce simmering to make a lasagna with zucchini instead of noodles. I'm running on the last case of my home canned tomatoes from last year. However... our tomatoes are coming on strong this year. I don't have any near ripe yet, but in the next week, I should be canning. The green beans are giving me a handful of beans every day. The okra is short, but covered in blooms. That should also start giving us fruit (or veggies?) within days.

The house painting is slowly coming along. Tom's been working so much OT, Bob has been doing all the painting he can, whenever he can. The heat dictates a very short window of time to be painting in the mornings.
Daniel and Sam rigged up a Dante containment field, to keep Dante on the property when Sam leaves for work, during the Big Trip. they built it primarily from pallets- available at $1 each from a local supplier. It will give Dante a bigger yard than he would have in town, and saves my house from bored doggy destruction. I'm not sure what day Dante will come to stay... but I need to be in Texas on the 17 or 18 of August.

The current 'plan' (loosely called a plan) is for me to arrive in Texas the day that Becky and Daniel return from trek. Dan works the next day. Becky and I will load and organize the trailer that day that Dan is working. (Becky will need to do Trek laundry and sort through trek stuff that needs to go with us vs. stuff that does not.) Dan gets off at 7:00 am, and he wants us loaded and ready to go when he gets off. I am guessing we are picking him up in San Angelo, saving him two hours of travel that will be used to move on towards the west coast. Taking turns driving, we will push for the 30 hour drive to be made with as few stops as possible. (We have 3 drivers available.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Not as "Settled into Summer" as I would hope...

Kimber Ann (Grandchild 3.2) came home with Nickole (2.1) and I when we returned from our camping trial run. We had an entertaining week. To the local swimming pool... where I actually got my swimsuit wet. Other than wading in the Gulf this past week, and last year- I haven't done much swimming. (The swim test in what? November? that proved I wasn't nearly as over Long Covid as would have thought!)
I went down a waterslide! 3 times... I have never gone on a waterslide before. Then I sat out waiting for the girls to tire of the pool. I waded a bit in the shallow end. Another day, we went to the new Splash pad in Gentry, followed by a trip to the library.

The garden sprang up amazingly fast while I was gone. I've harvested enough green beans from Sam's Hugelkultur mound to have two meals. Another day, I took Kimber and Nickole to the Tulsa zoo, where they worked on an AHG badge requirement. Stephen and Ruby came to visit us over this past weekend. We watched Tom, Bob, Sam, and Kimber set off a short fireworks display on the 3rd. On the 4th, Stephen and Ruby headed back to Dallas with Kimber. Becky met them there on the 5th... so 'Ber is home.

My Dad's reports haven't been great. He's still dealing with things none of the rest of us can see- but to him, they are quite real. My Uncle from California is flying out this coming weekend, so Tom and I are driving down to see everyone in Texas. Pray for Uncle and Aunty's home... once again, it's near one of the big fires. They are packed up and ready to flee if the evacuation notice is given... and it's not given lightly.

My mom has had troubles this past week. Bronchitis and pneumonia have slowed her down. Her routine doctor's visit today said her lungs sound good, but pneumonia can take months to fully recover from. Step mom had two days of medical visits... first to the ER, then her Ophthalmologist to learn she's got a scratched cornea. Those are VERY painful!

Tom and I are finally paining the exterior of the house!

It has been chocolate brown with hunter green trim since we bought the place. It's going to be a buttery yellow, with sage green trim. Bob and Nickole both disliked my choices, based on the sample swatch. But seeing it on the building has changed their minds.

It's looking like a second coat may be needed, and none of these pictures show a completed wall, as we don't yet have one! But you can see where it's going. We are only able to paint in early mornings, and Tom only on his days off. The temperatures are HOT this week. Today's heat index is 106*. Bob got out and painted anyway.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Trial Run

 Becky and I had a trial run with the trailer, and only 3 kids - while the bigger three were at their most recent summer camp. (LightHouse Church in Midlothian Texas. It's where so Stephen (Tommy) and his beautiful wife Ruby attend. Tyrel, Nickole, and Kimber got to go. Dan was, once again, the Camp Medic.

While the kids camped, Becky and I learned about setting up the trailer without seasoned help. We decided that a "pre-flight checklist" was a good idea. There are so many little steps to be done in setting up (and breaking down) camp. I hope we have another opportunity to do this before The Big Trip.
Our plans are to camp along the way. Sightseeing, hikes, and a few base camps with day trips.

While we were together, we figured out an itinerary for the first few weeks of the trip. We're sure it will need tweaked as we travel. First of all, we defined what we wanted to gain from the trip.

 It's primarily a cross country sightseeing trip. That will involve traveling almost daily. We planned the drives to be under 6 hours per day, with several days less time than that, and so far, only one long day across a stretch of desert. There will be a lot of circling around, because there just ISN'T a simple, straightforward route to see all the sights we want to see!

We have made our plan starting from dropping Daniel off to start his ride.
I am a list person. I love logistics.
Our planning phase is taking quite a bit into consideration.
Ruby wants to go with us until a specific date, then fly home. Getting her ticket in advance will cost less, but involve some finer tuning of plans up to that point.
Figuring out where to stay, and what we can do/ see while on a fairly tight schedule is still in the works.

Yes, we plan to blog... maybe even You Tube video as often as we can. But... for our protection, only a few family members will know exactly where we are headed next. And the blogs/ videos will be delayed in publishing by a few days.

We have lists of set-up & breakdown of camp. I need to transfer those onto chore cards... many hands make light work! We will cross-train on as many jobs as we can, but not everyone is capable of doing every job. Everyone is capable of doing SOME job.
We have a list of meals we can make, and grocery checklists to go with each meal. (We don't want to get camp set up 20 miles from town and discover we missed a primary ingredient for a meal!)
Some of the meals are what we called "planned overs" when my kids were growing up. Deliberately cooking extras to serve at another meal. (Beans from one meal go into burritos at another. Grilled chicken today has enough left to add to a salad tomorrow.)

Our Trial Run gave me a better idea of the space we have available and the best ways to use that space.
Ideas for adding storage or managing the clutter that comes with so many people traveling together.
We intend to do some modified homeschooling on the road. That's a bit more to carry and store, but will keep the kids on track academically, and stave off boredom. We learned that we really do need some boredom busters when we are stuck in place. (I kept five kids in a campground that was 105* outside, no playground, no beach or pool. When it got hot, we had to stay inside... and I didn't have little kid games or books, no toys. This was a lesson learned!)
The four oldest girls are all American Heritage Girls. They can be earning several badges on this trip.

I'm considering making a new, trip specific blog. If I do, You will be the first to know. (all four or five of you who read my blog now!)



Thursday, June 30, 2022

Deep Breath

   Summer 2022 has been busy. We hit the ground running, before it was even really Summer.
Nickole had American Heritage Girls Camp the first several days of June. She was shown God's favor by being allowed to take part in their Drama program, which had been closed for registration when we were choosing her camp options. (Someone had dropped out after registering.)

   I picked Nickole up from camp, and we headed to Texas to visit my parents and step parents for a few days. My Dad had been having some issues with adjustments in medications for the Parkinson's that he has been stricken with. He was in the hospital for a couple of days. We had a good visit. I had to return home for Nickole's orthodontist visit.
The next Orthodontist visit could see Nickole measured for her retainers, and out of braces once those are made. She's pretty excited about that!

I was back to Dad's on Father's day, to sit with him while my brother Robbie took my Step mom to a Dog Trial.
I'm not sure what the dog was accused of, but they were gone pretty much all day.
Dad's mental acuity has been declining, with hallucinations that we had thought were from the medications. After research, I personally think it is Lewy Body Syndrome, which affects many Parkinson's patients. Dad is more alert and almost normal most mornings, aside from hallucinations he is doing his best to live with. He told me that he's seeing such terrible things, yet no one else is concerned about the things, so he figures they must be in his mind. He doesn't feel at home in his house, and repeatedly says he wants to go home. He will say he has no memory of being in his house before arriving from the hospital. He says he "doesn't recall building the place, though everyone tells him he did." But if you tell him something incorrect, such as "Ralph helped you put in the windows"... he will tell you exactly who DID help put in the windows... and it wasn't Ralph. He gets more agitated and confused as he gets more tired during the day.
I could see a difference in Dad's mental awareness from morning to afternoon. But it was really apparent in the two weeks since I had last visited with him. I made it a point to come back the following weekend... and there is a marked decline even over the 4 days I was gone. (I arrived the 18th, sat with Dad the 19th, and left to take Nickole to her next summer camp on the 21st. I returned to Dad's on the 25th.) He's fallen a number of times in the past week.
Dad had a regularly scheduled cardiologist appointment this week. He Doctor recommended Dad go into a full time care facility. That would just be the end of him, Kathie and Robbie agree. So, for now, it isn't even a consideration. The Cardiologist wants Dad to see his Primary care doctor ASAP, to be put on Hospice Home care. That's where the situation stands now.
He has an appointment with the only Parkinson's specialist in 5 counties... on January 28th. That was the soonest available appointment. (He's on the cancellations list).

Nickole has been to 2 camps already this summer. Kimber is currently visiting us. I took the two of them swimming at the public pool a couple of days ago, and to the Tulsa Zoo yesterday. Today is settle down and clean house/ do laundry day. ZERO plans to go/ do anything.
I bug bombed the house yesterday. Looking through facebook memories... I seem to have to do that about this time of year! The Zoo was a nice place to be for several hours.
While to dogs were shut out all day... Jaffa tore his dew claw. He came in dripping blood all over the house. It got wiped up, but today will be a thorough mopping.

The garden had to be watered this morning. I can't believe how much it grew in the 8 days I was away. I harvested some green beans... and with what I picked day before yesterday, we will have a 'mess' of green beans for supper, with some tiny 'new potatoes' given to us by a neighbor. Meatloaf in the slow cooker... good eats! I counted tomato plants a couple of days ago. We have 38. Not counting Bob's.  He has six? eight?... more.
In a couple of weeks... SUMMER is really going to hit me!

Tommy and Ruby are supposed to come visit this weekend. Looking forward to that!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Maybe not a Hollywood explosion

 Sam has been awaiting a package from a soap company. He ordered a pine tar soap, plus a shampoo and conditioner. He had mentioned several times that it should be here any day! Then, it showed "out for Delivery" on the tracking number.
But, the package didn't arrive.
Monday is our shopping and errand day.
With Daniel here to visit, Sam took a rare "personal day off". Our errands were late in getting started. Tom and I left Nickole here with a minor chores list, while Dan and Sam did yard work. We were barely on the dirt road when Tom realized he'd left something behind that he needed, so we turned around. We were not 1/4 mile from the house... and my phone started chirruping. Messages from Nickole.
"Um... Cowgranny? There was a phone call from the USPS. I didn't answer it."
"um, Cowgranny? The person left a message for Sam Coder that his package exploded"
"Um, Cowgranny... The caller's message wants you to come to the post office and get the package that blew up..."

By the time this message hit, we were already getting out of the car. Tom retrieved his missing item. I called the Post Office. Yes, they "had just called about a package addressed to Samuel Coder. While out for delivery on Saturday, the package had become overheated. It 'exploded'," the clerk said... "so the carrier returned it to the post office, as it was leaking a smelly goo. Could we come and retrieve the package? They thought it may contain essential oils."

Our errand list started again, with getting Sam's package. The Post Office loaned us a plastic tote that the package had been setting in. I put the tote in the trunk, and Tom and I ran errands. The fumes were getting to me within a few miles. It took longer for them to start Mr C's eyes watering.
On arrival back at the house, Sam photographed and opened his leaky package.
He emailed the company, "I got a call from the Post office that my package from your company had 'exploded' en route to delivery. After I picked it up from the Post Office, I was most disappointed to find that instead of the Hollywood style fireball explosion that I had expected to find... the shampoo had simply blown off its cap, resulting in it leaking all over the contents of the box and out of the cardboard."

The soap company responded quickly. They had had a great laugh at Sam's description. They upgraded his order and got a new package shipped the same afternoon.

The post Office tote has been rinsed out... repeatedly. It has quit sudsing up with each rinse... but it still stings my eyes if I am too close to it! I'm letting it air a few more days before I return it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

A lovely night In NE OK

 Daniel is up visiting! This is his and Sam's birthday week, which they almost always have spent together. Last night, they invited some of their friends from the area over. Sam spent Sunday smoking a huge brisket, while Daniel drove up from San Angelo.
If Sam ever decided to change careers, he could sure open a mean barbecue place! He could get his uncle Buck to make the potato salad. We had two kinds of home made ice cream. It was all excellent.
We were up far too late, with Tom and Sam having to go to work today.

Half an hour ago, I decided I should sit me down and at least make an effort at blogging more regularly.
(My Aunt Lennie encouraged me to do so.)  (Hi Auntie!)

I sat down at the computer and turned it on. Usually, the mouse jiggle on the mouse pad will wake it right up. Today, it did not. Oh, DAN is here... he shuts everything completely off so that he can sleep in complete darkness. I turned on the computer. It warmed up.
But the mouse still refused to control it. The keyboard was fine... I could use the directional keys to highlight areas... but no cursor. Being a wireless mouse... I checked to be sure it was on. It was. I replaced the battery. It would come on, then go off. It would not operate the cursor.
I unplugged its USB relay. Tried another USB port on the computer.
Nope. I was getting quite frustrated, and figured I was going to have to order a new mouse.
One last trouble shooting thing to do. Borrow Nickole's wireless mouse. That means her USB relay as well.
She went and got her relay from her laptop, and brought it to me... but couldn't find her mouse.
Because she had left it on my mousepad, in front of my desktop computer! MY mouse was on the tray table next to Tom's chair. One jiggle from the correct mouse... and presto! the cursor worked!

Tonight, the guys have a fun "Guys Night Out" excursion planned. Tom and Bob, Dan and Sam all are going to a minor league baseball game over in Springdale. Nickole and I may go to a pricey little pizza place we have both wanted to try.

A friend of mine posted a news link on Facebook earlier. Yellowstone is CLOSED, effective immediately- due to unprecedented flooding. The news story was accompanied by footage of roads literally being washed away. I don't know how long it will take to repair such terrible damages... Yellowstone is on our big trip agenda for August/ September.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, June 10, 2022

My Blog's not dead!

I hope each of you is having a good day.
I am back from a trip to East Texas. My Dad isn't doing too well, and he knows it. We are all hoping this sudden, rapid mental decline is due to an imbalance of medication. The sudden decline in his acuity started soon after his Physicians Assistant (managing his case after his Parkinson's Doctor moved) changed up some of his medications. Two of his drugs were working at cross purposes. (Not prescribed by the same Doctors). Dad's Physical Therapist mentioned a Parkinson's specialist that several of his other patients see. Dad's  Parkinson's doctor was the only one in the PPO system near them. So, they are in the process of getting a referral to an out of system Parkinson's Specialist. 

Dad is lucid enough. But, he is seeing things the rest of aren't privy to. He doesn't recognize the house... which he mostly built. He told me he has no idea of what the exterior looks like- and the first he recalls of the interior was when he arrived back from a brief hospital stay. Yet during one conversation, he went into detail about the kind of wood he used in trimming the bedroom.
What alarmed me the most during my visit was that he failed to recognize his favorite dog. He tried to keep her from entering her kennel and eating her food, saying it was Kelsey's kennel and Kelsey's food. The dog was, in fact, Kelsey.
I have been reading up on Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).
Little chance of getting my folks to change their diets, but research says a Keto diet could help. An undiagnosed gluten intolerance can trigger episodes of decline.  Maybe I can try a less intimidating form of help, such as essential oils in a diffuser? I was just reading Dr Axe's article on LBD.

I came home with a long list of things the folks need help with. My brother Robbie is struggling with all that needs to be done. He has two disks in his spine that need repair... and no insurance. So he grits his teeth and does what he can do.

I return to east Texas on the 18th, to sit with Dad on the 19th. Then I will stay over a few days, and do what I can do to help until time to take Nickole to camp with Tommy's church in Midlothian.

After that, I don't have anyplace I have to be until The Big Roadtrip, in late August.
I intend to have a blog just for that trip!
Three women, six kids, and an Ugly Kitty seeing the USA in a van.... while one of my sons bicycles across the continent. It should be an Adventure! (And, good golly Miss Molly! Gas is already up to $5 a gallon here, and over $7 on the west coast... continuing to trend upward, with 10 weeks until we start.)

Friday, March 11, 2022

A Decade Down

 Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of Bill Joe's death.
When I was only a few months into grief, a friend who had lost her son told me, "I'm sorry. It doesn't ever get any easier, but with time, you can learn to swallow around the lump in your throat."
She was right. (Renee has since gone on to join her son.)
Missing someone doesn't get easier. It gets less overwhelming- probably because a human can't function with the stress of grief on their body for a prolonged time. Your mind builds up safety measures.

I write. I have had a need, a compulsion, to write since I first learned how to read. I don't remember if it was my own idea, or if someone suggested a grief journal to me. At first, I wrote pretty much every day. Sometimes, multiple times each day.
As time went on, the entries became fewer. I woke up yesterday, thinking I NEED to write in Bill's journal. It was late in the day before I did. I saw that I haven't written in it since before Nickole came to live with us in 2019.
I had a lot to catch "Bill" up on.
If we hadn't lived the last three + years ourselves, it would seem like the bad plot to an incredibly depressing soap opera.
There have been several highlights. Babies, brides, brothers. It wasn't all bad. It was just so... MUCH.
I am OK with the quiet, dull existence.
I love new places, and seeing new things. But I am terrible at letting go. I also love the familiar!

It's hard to believe it has been 10 years.
Today, we got  four inches of snow, in about four hours. I am so OVER snow. It's pretty. Whoop! OK, that's enough of that.
I don't think I can review the past decade, today.
I hope your day is peaceful, and blessedly dull.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Howdy Howdy Howdy

 February has gotten away from me. Here we are on the last day of the month. As is often the case in this part of the world, February was full of ice and snow. We had several inches of pellet ice this past week. My friend from Colorado tells me this is called "grabel"... not "Sonic (brand) ice falling from the sky".
  My newest Daughter-in-love, Ruby Coder is finally here in the USA! We attended her and Tommy's reception last weekend.

Nickole had her 13th birthday on February 25th. She has grown SO much since she arrived to live with us (3 years come May). She was going to go visit her Mom for her birthday, but icy roads kept us all at home. We rescheduled for this coming week. After that, our next round of scheduled fun will be VISITORS! Two of Tom and Bob's sisters plan to visit us "in the Spring". Becky and kids want to visit us while the Aunts are here. Overcrowding may not be an issue, as the Aunts intend to stay at a hotel. (The Casino hotel may add a layer of fun for them!) And, I can hope that the back porch enclosure may be ready by then. So far, it has the roof on the framework. Poor weather on weekends, as well as travel, has kept it from progressing as quickly as we might have hoped.

I need to get to Texas to see my folks ASAP. Dad has been less than great for awhile. Between his teeth, his back, Parkinsons, and aches and pains associated with life in general- he's not doing as well as I would like. It's hard living far from family... and with parents and children, as well as grandchildren, being scattered across the US (and other countries!!!) We just don't see everyone as often as I would like.
I know I have said it before... these are amazing times as compared to a century or more ago- when moving across the USA was difficult to stay in touch as moving to another country.
These days, we have instant messages. We have "zoom" and "Face Time" to communicate eye to eyes in real time. Still, nothing beats a real, in person hug.
Benjamin is still fighting the fight against cancer. Things looked down for awhile, until Paula contacted a place in New Mexico. (Or was it Arizona? anyway...) The Doctor there was quite encouraging and gave them a number of pointers on treatments to add. Things are once again looking good.
However, please keep everyone in prayer. Ben, against  cancer. Paula for stress- which has a terrible impact on her overall health. Becky for the continued demands of widowhood with children. Daniel and Sam pray for spouses. Tommy, of course, for the the new path he is on to be joyous and fruitful.

We have garden fever starting. This week is as warm as last week was cold! From temps in the teens, to the upper 60's this week. With the economy seeming to tank around us, the garden is important to feed the family. With going keto, what we plan to grow is slightly different than in years past.
We are considering trying again to keep chickens.
Going concerns are keeping the dogs safe at the house. New neighbors have a new dog (Delilah) that is a BAD influence. She and Aurora will roam far, far from home. Aurora had already begun chasing big trucks. We need an invisible fence, or a large fenced in area to keep her home. Plus, to be ready for Dan's Trans-Continental bike ride this fall. His Dante is supposed to stay here.

I have bone broth finishing up in the pressure canner. Last year's canned tomatoes are waning. I hope with have enough to last until we start getting fresh this year.
I hope you have a blessed day. Thank you for reading.

It is 10 days from the 10 year anniversary of losing Bill. March 10. The 10th will be 10 months since Stephen was killed.
The 1 year anniversary of Arlene passing was this past week, the 24th. On that day, my kitty Linus died.
There were no marks on him, but if he had been sick, we were not aware of it.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

The New Year is under way!

 It's almost the end of January.
The year is already rushing past.
Positives so far:
Our beautiful new daughter-in-law Ruby will be coming to America in a few short weeks!
Mr. C is adding a much needed room onto the house. It will be an extension of the kitchen/ storage area.

BIL Bob is with us and doing well. He and Mr C are on Keto, and losing weight.

I am sure there are other positives.
In our immediate future, Tommy and Ruby's wedding reception will be in February. Nickole will become a teenager.
In March, it will be 10 years since Bill Joe passed. It seems impossible that so much time has passed. I had a question for him this morning that had me reaching for the phone. Yeah, that still happens. May will be a year without Stephen. That is a much fresher grief. Stephen's name is being added to the Law Enforcement Officer's (LEO) Memorial Wall in Washington DC.

Garden plans are being made.
In August, Daniel intends to bicycle from West Coast to East Coast. More on that as it develops.
The kitties are all still with us. Lottie and LuLu are 14. Bob has Mimi- their mother!- who is also doing well. Nickole's cat, Ash, the the youngest of the pets.

That's my January update.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The year winds down

 It's December, y'all. Not that one can really tell by the weather. I haven't posted in a couple of months.
Such an eventful year as well, which I am well ready to leave behind.
Since my last blog post...

My Daughter-in-love, Paula, lost her Mom to cancer.

Tom's brother Bob has come to reside on our property. We helped him move, starting to settle on the 1st of November. 

We spent Thanksgiving at Becky and Ben's houses. My mom, Ben, Kimber and I, Dakota, and Althea had birthdays. (As well as several siblings and friends). 

I got to do some 'dives' in Ben and Paula's hyperbaric chamber.

Dan left this morning after visiting us for several days. 

This weekend, I get to fly to Texas to see Chris. I haven't seen him since before CV19 started. It will be a really quick trip down- some Mom and Me time. As I will only be gone over the weekend, Nickole can stay home with Umpaw and Sam.  

Nickole is working hard on school. With so much going on, there are some days we don't get in as much 'book learning', but she's really progressing in life skills. I think she may get to plan & prepare supper Friday evening. (The plan ahead will be this afternoon. Thursday we have AHG and can get anything she needs to make a good meal.)

Speaking of AHG, (American Heritage Girls), Nickole will be receiving several badges she's earned this fall, on the 9th. She's really enjoying getting to be part of a troop. She's adding "Cooking", "Archery", and "Astronomy" to her badges, and will receive a few patches as well.

Upcoming, we have more birthdays ... Chris, Becky,  Katie, Tom (more friends and relatives!)

Daniel is planning a cross country bicycle ride.

Ruby has an interview to get moved to Dallas! We expect her by February.
After Ruby arrives, I think the next 'event' on the calendar is the DC Memorial event in May, where Stephen's name will be added to the Fallen LEO Wall.

No new babies are being added to the schedule, as of yet.