Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday at the Nursing Home

Hey, Y'all,
It is a funny thing (not ha ha funny) how so many people visit friends and family on Sunday afternoons. You don't always see the same people on Sunday that you do during the week. Some people have regular visitors and some have no visitors except on Sundays; but then some have no visitors at all. They seem to be forgotten people. I don't believe that Gramps has had any visitors except for me and perhaps a couple of church members. He had some family members visit in the hospital.

Today there were quite a few visitors to some of the residents, and many came and sat outside with the residents that they were visiting. One nice thing about the nursing home is that there is a beautiful shaded porch with lots of rocking chairs and decorative wrought iron tables and chairs. In order to enter the nursing home, there is a coded entry pad with the code printed on a piece of paper near the entry pad. When you are bringing out a resident, or taking one back in, it is often difficult unless you have someone to help hold the door. Many of the residents are in wheel chairs, and one cannot hold the door and push the wheel chair at the same time. Most often there will be someone outside that will offer help or someone inside will be coming out.

I have met quite a few people there who are acquaintances and friends. Some of them are residents and some are friends or family of residents. Naturally, having lived in this area for more than 60 years (off and on), I have the privilege of knowing many of the people in there. It is good to renew old acquaintances and make new ones. (I am not bashful, as you can probably guess by now, so I never see a stranger - at least not for long).

I have noticed that when Gramps is up for awhile, he can hardly wait to be back in bed. He sleeps a lot, and always sleeps after lunch. He goes back to bed after lunch and then is gotten up for supper, after which he goes back to bed for the night. He knows that we plan to go to Texas, and when I asked him today where he thinks he is, he said, "Texas". I said, "No, not yet. Right now we are in Dandridge at the Jefferson County Nursing Home so that you can get better and then be able to come home."

Tonight I am working on supper for tomorrow. I am preparing chicken pot pie, and tonight peeled and diced and cooked potatoes for it. I added carrots and onions to the potatoes and now I have drained them and they are cooling. In the morning, I will line the baking dish with crust, and mix with the carrots, potatoes, and onions a mixture of cream style corn, tiny green peas, cooked chicken breast, and some chicken broth thickened with cornstarch. I seasoned the chicken with herbs and spices when I cooked it a couple of months ago and froze it to use later. So now is later. After I add all those ingredients together, I will fill the crust with it and then top it with velveeta and a top crust. It will be covered with saran wrap and put in my fridge where Laurie (our neighbor) will come down and get it so she can bake it before our supper - since I will be too late coming from the nursing home to bake it in time for our supper.

Dessert will be buttered pecan ice cream along with fresh frozen fruit. Yum! It really makes my day to have them come down and share supper with me on Monday evenings. Speaking of making my day, on Tuesday two of my retired school teacher friends are taking me to lunch. I am looking forward to that.

Can you believe that May is almost gone? Tomorrow will be my 500th posting since i began my blog nearly two years ago. Ain't that grand?

Well, this is about it for today. I actually got to talk to both my girls this morning. I talked to Carol by phone and Teresa by IM'ing. Speaking of making my day, that will always do it for me. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my friends and family until tomorrow. Bye for now. More later.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Some Characters

Hey, Y'all,
Well, I thought I would write about some of the people who populate the nursing home, since I am spending quite a bit of time there, and the news is pretty much the same about Gramps most of the time. I know it is going to be some time yet before a lot of improvement is going to be evident.

One of the characters is his room mate, Paul (Polecat). He was born in Jefferson County and has lived here all his life. He cusses something awful, and so the other day I asked him if he had ever been in the navy. His reply was: "H..., no. I've never been in the D... navy." I told him that I thought maybe he had since he talked like a sailor. People who know him say that he has always cussed like that. He talks about how he used to be a driver of trucks for the light company and how he got about six men fired from their jobs for not working. I was speaking to someone today about him and they said he was so lazy, he had no room to talk about anyone else being lazy. They called him a windbag. Ha ha.

Another of the residents is a former preacher, named Coy. Now, Coy grew up near us when we first moved to New Market back in 1947. He lived over on the Dairy Farm that belonged to a wealthy lady who was an owner that didn't visit the farm very often. He bacame a preacher in his later years. He walks with a cane, and spends a lot of time sitting out on the front porch of the nursing home. One day, one of the housekeepers was walking down the hallway spraying Febreze air freshener. She said that Coy had left a little "gift" in a bag in the bathroom and apparently it wasn't the first time that had happened.

Then there are the residents who sit in wheelchairs out in the hallway, some of them sleeping, and some asking for help when you walk by them. There is also the sweet little old lady who carries a doll around like it is a baby, and apparently may believe it to be so. Some people seem to never leave their rooms, and not all of them have people come to see them. I know Polecat doesn't have many visitors.

We have several friends who are out there as well, and it is so sad to see these people who were once viable citizens that can no longer communicate well with others. It is sad for me to see my husband in his condition, but like many others, he enjoys eating and watching tevee, and visiting when I am there. He is always ready to be put back into bed when his meal is over. He sleeps as much as they let him. I took him out today after he had his lunch, and we sat outside for about an hour, before I left to have my lunch.

It is evening now, and I am just about ready for my bed. I seem to be quite sleepy myself, and I know I am tired. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love and many thanks for all your support. Please forgive me for not personally responding to comments you all so sweetly make. It is just about all I can do to post. I do enjoy keeping in touch. Goodbye for now. More later.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Some Improvement

Hey, Y'all,
I am beginning to see some improvement in Gramps' condition. He walked yesterday with support and using his walker for a good way in the hall. The physical therapist took him out of the room and walked him. I followed with his wheel chair so that it came with them. I am spending several hours a day with him and attempting to get him to drink more liquids and also helping him eat his lunch and supper.

When we brought him back from the hospital, I had gathered up the things that were there with him and one of them was a tube of lubricating lotion. I left it on his tray table at the nursing home when I left there on Wednesday afternoon. Well, I should not have done that. When I got to the nursing home yesterday morning, he told me that someone had come in and stopped him from putting more in his mouth. He had thought it was something to eat, and squeezed some into his mouth. I said, "Oh, my goodness, did you swallow it?" He said, "Yeah, it was in my mouth and it just went on down." I have to be so very careful about what he gets his hands on, because he is just like a curious child. He must have pulled out at least five IV needles during the time he was in the hospital.

He asked me yesterday what kind of military place he was in, and I told him that it is not a military place, but a nursing home. He also asked me if Mae (our sister-in-law) owned it. I replied that no, she has nothing to do with it. He wanted to know how many rooms were in this (nursing home) house. I told him that maybe a hundred or so people lived in it. He said that was really big.

Sometimes I leave the nursing home for awhile to eat lunch around 2 or 3 in the afternoon and then return before his suppertime. It helps to get away for awhile. He told me yesterday that he wants me to stay with him all the time. I told him that I was sorry but that I have to go home at night and rest some and do laundry and stuff like that. I plan on having lunch with Allie today around one o'clock at the Minnis House Tea Room in New Market. I look forward to that. I usually have my lunch alone. He doesn't have many visitors except he had quite a few on last Sunday when he was still in the hospital.

Well, it is almost 8 a.m. and I have yet to have my breakfast. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. More later. Much love and many thanks for the support to all of you, my friends and family out there in Blogland. Bye for now.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Back to the Nursing Home

Hey, Y'all,
Well, I hope no one misunderstood the facts about Gramps leaving the hospital, because he is back in the nursing home because there is no way that I could take care of him at home. He is not able to walk without a lot of help and then not even very far. Yesterday, at the hospital they had to put the Foley back in, so he was sent to the nursing home with it.

Yesterday when he was up for lunch sitting in a chair, he told me that he is tired of the fight for life, and just wants to die and go home to Heaven. He had very little breakfast and no lunch and very little fluids. (He refused to drink any more and was not passing any water to speak of). When they inserted the Foley, they got nearly 2 full liters of fluid (so to speak), and so left it in.

When we got him to the nursing home he decided he was hungry, so I told him that I guessed he decided he wasn't going to go that day (kind of joking with him). He ate pretty well but wouldn't drink any liquid to amount to anything. I will be going over a little later this morning. I am trying to catch up on some stuff here at home first. (Like laundry, ha).

I saw American Idol last night and was not surprised when Lee Weise won it. It would have been hard to decide which one I wanted to win. I like them both and they are great singers. Of course a lot of hullabaloo about Simon Cowell was on the show and I know his acerbic wit will be missed. He is the reason that a lot of people enjoyed watching Idol.

I told Gramps that we would be going to Texas in a couple of months and he seemed to be okay with it.

A lot of tough decisions are coming up for me, but with God's help, I know they will be right for us both.

Well, folks, I gotta quit this right now, and get with the program for the day. Haven't had breakfast yet, and you know it is the most important meal of the day. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you, my friends and loved ones. More later. Bye for now. Please continue praying for us. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Out of the Hosptial Tomorrow, I Think

Hey, Y'all,
I spoke with the doctor this afternoon (a very lovely lady, by the way, and a good doctor). She told me that Gramps has only 10 percent use of his gall bladder, but is not recommending surgery because of his age and medical and mental condition. I told her that he and I had discussed it and he had ixnayed it, too.

They disconnected his IV today and also unplugged the Foley (that made him happy, ha ha) but I can't get him to drink a lot of water like he should. They won't let him leave the hospital until he can perform well enough in producing water on his own.

I am quite tired this evening, although I have not done very much today. I have some interesting television to watch this evening (American Idol for one). Sunday night I watched the last episode of Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice and then dreamed that he had given me a beautiful fur coat that for some reason I couldn't wear. Ha! Just my luck, even in my dreams I can't win.

I told Gramps today that we would possibly be going to Texas for a while in a couple of months. It didn't seem to phase him though. We are looking about buying a house out there so we can be closer to one of our children and our grand and great grand children. I am beginning to be somewhat excited about it. I haven't yet told my family in Knoxville because I want it to be more a done deal before I do that. I really hate leaving them and I dread telling them, you know. But, life changes for all of us as we live.

Well, I gotta get a few things done before I go to bed this evening. Somehow, My Get UP and Go has done got up and gone. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. More tomorrow. Much love and many thanks to each of you, my friends out in blogland. Bye for now.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Yesterday and Today

Hey, Y'all,
Yesterday (Sunday) Dub was sleeping all day. On Saturday, he had drunk the magnesium citrate and been given Miralax to aid in the cleansing of his innards, and the result was seven times and diarrhea. He was quite weak after all that, and so, even though he had at least 8 visitors, he slept through their visits. I finally wakened him enough to eat supper last night. Among those who came to visit were Mae, her son, Fred, and Imazo. Also, our neighbors came to visit him and he just slept on. Ha.

This morning when I arrived, he was sleeping and slept most of the day. He did not get to eat breakfast or lunch because of the Hida Test that he took around 11:30 this morning. It has to be taken on an empty stomach because of the dye they inject into the veins. I was told this morning that he had pulled out the intravenous needle during the night. I asked him today why he had done that and he replied that it got in his way. When they put in a new one, they put a bandage around it to keep him from doing the same thing again.

The nurse at the desk told me this morning that they are still giving him an antibiotic for the infection that is apparently still in his body, and that his renal problem seems to be over with. If they have to do a gall bladder surgery, he has already said that he doesn't want it done. He also said this afternoon to get him out of that bed before they kill him. I told him that is what we have been trying to do by getting him up and on his feet. He is reluctant to get up and walk. I don't know yet the results of the Hida test of his gall bladder.

They brought in his supper tonight and he ate most of it. I soon left after I had finished feeding his supper to him. He was ready to go to sleep again.

I had the neighbors down for supper tonight and we had potato soup, cornbread, and chocolate eclair dessert. Then we played Aggravation, a board game which is a lot of fun.

I am really tired and sleepy tonight, so I guess I will go to bed soon and watch the final episode of Law and Order from bed. Hope I can stay awake for it, but I am not sure. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. More later. Much love and many thanks to all of you for your support. Bye for now.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

More Updates

Hey, Y'all,
This morning I awakened after getting eight (8) hours of sleep. It felt so very good! I had some bacon and eggs for breakfast and after finishing up the laundry (not folded yet, ha) and getting ready to go to the hospital, I was on my way there.

I found Dub sitting up in bed and having finished his breakfast by gumming it (they hadn't gotten his choppers out of the denture cup in the bathroom), he was ready to visit with me for awhile. I had taken some denture cream and a denture brush to clean his teeth with me this morning, (I had put a couple of denture tablets in his teeth last night to soak overnight, so they were almost clean) and finished cleaning them before letting him put them into his mouth this morning.

You should have seen what his dentures looked like after chewing iron tablets at the nursing home. Somehow, after the surgery he had forgotten how to swallow pills, so now they have to pulverize pills for him to take them. They tried to give him stool softeners in the hospital this time, and he just wallowed them around in his mouth, when they told him not to chew them. So they give him the liquid instead, and it tastes terrible.

The doctor told me today that Dub has an impaction in his bowel, and that he is having a problem with his gall bladder as well. We had to get him to drink a bottle of magnesium citrate which tastes terrible, you know. What a battle to get him to swallow that stuff, but he finally finished it. Allie was there when they brought it in to him and between the two of us (mostly her) we got it down him, with him finishing the last few ounces of it on his own.

The therapist got him to walk out into the hall today (different therapist from yesterday) and the one yesterday got him out into the hall and part way down the hall and back - much farther than the one today. The one today showed him mercy, and the one yesterday, did not. I prefer the one yesterday because it is only by pushing that improvements come.

After the walk today, they put him into a chair to sit up and eat his lunch. He ate most of it, and not long after, they put him to bed and he immediately went to sleep. I left about one thirty and went to the Gondolier for lunch and had a wonderful Spana Kopita (Spinach Pie), along with a salad and a grilled chicken breast. I went back and spent the next several hours watching him sleep, till Mark and Allie came along about the time the nurse brought in the citrate for him to drink. Poor fellow. Then came supper and he had his supper and finished up the citrate on his own. He was rewarded with a cup of coffee. Soon after that he went back to sleep and I left for the night.

Now, I have laundry to fold, and a kitchen table to clear off. I don't know about you all, but in my house, we come in the kitchen door from outside, and whatever mail we have (or anything else) hits the table until it is finally gone through and put either in the trash or somewhere else. Ha ha. Sometimes the table looks like it is about to fly away. That is what it looks like right now. I took the time this morning to dose out my week's worth of pills and now the bag I keep the bottles in needs to be put on the shelf where it belongs.

Laundry first, while I watch some tevee, and then clearing off the table, then getting ready for bed, and then dreamland. Ahhhh yes!
This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for tonight. More later. Much love to each of you, my friends. I'll think about stuff tomorrow, for after all, tomorrow is another day. Bye for now.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Improving With Each Hour

Hey, Y'all,
As you can see from the title today, Gramps (Dub) is improving even as we speak. I am sure that much of it is due to the prayers that are being lifted up for him and for my strength. I am so sorry that I am not having time to read and comment on other blogs, but I promise when there is time not filled with caring for him and running home to do laundry and sleep, that I will return to those.

Today, after I returned to the hospital, I was with Dub for several hours. When I got there, they were doing another ultra sound on his tummy area, and I don't have any reports on the one they did yesterday or today. Hopefully, they will report something tomorrow to me. They had delayed his breakfast until finishing the ultra sound, so I fed most of it to him and got him a fresh cup of hot coffee. Allie came close to noon, and they were getting him up to sit in a chair to eat. So he ate all of his lunch, and I left to go to take Laurie and Olivia to a local tea room for Olivia's 13th birthday today. We had a really nice lunch and enjoyed some time together.

Allie had insisted that I get some sleep before returning after lunch, so when I got back here and Laurie and Olivia had returned home (up the hill from me), I went in and got undressed and crawled into bed for a two hour nap, and when I woke up, I felt fairly refreshed and ready for a few more hours. I drove back over to the hospital and when I got there, I saw Dub being walked out in the hallway, and he was just finishing his walk. He was using the walker, and moving quite well, with the help of the therapist. He had taken something like (an estimate) about 60 steps, not having to be cued as to which foot to move. It was wonderful, like a miracle, even. I clapped my hands for him. Then the therapist helped him to sit in one of the easy chairs in the room and put his food tray in front of him. Dub ate every bit of his food, along with a Glucerna drink supplement, and a cup of coffee. I was so happy!

Later, after Allie left, he needed to use the bedside john, and used that successfully, so he is now "unplugged" (like the song says. ha). That is wonderful, too. After that feat, he was put back into bed, where it was not long before he went to sleep. It was close to eight p.m., so it was really time for him to do bed. I put all his rails up. Our friend, Ronnie, came to visit and we enjoyed that.

I came home to do laundry and to sleep. I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things, but I am sure I won't be up very long this evening. My eyes are already heavy with sand in them (the old Sandman is at it again). I need to put my medications in the minder box, otherwise I am going to be having to do the dosing out in dribs and drabs. I don't like that.

More later. Much love to each of you. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Bye for now. P>S> I received the loveliest letter and "thinking of you" card from one of my readers yesterday. It was such a pleasant surprise! Thank you, Treva!
Talk to you all soon.

In Hospital

Hey, Y'all,
I hope this one will make sense to all of you. On Wednesday, Gramps was taken to the hospital with renal failure, and we were not sure he would even make it. We are now much more hopeful. I had been with him most of the day at the nursing home, and he had been complaining for several days with back pain in the area of the kidneys, and I had been telling the personnel there about his complaints. He also had a quite extended belly and it was hurting as well. No one took my or his complaints seriously until Wednesday afternoon when the CNA noticed pink in the commode after Gramps had been on it (but apparently not voiding). Gramps had also not had any stool movements since arriving at the nursing home that we knew of.

Anyway, the nurses had taken blood samples earlier on, and apparently no one had really checked them. When the CNA reported the pink and the nurse checked the blood report, they got on the ball and immediately called the Rescue Squad to transport him to the hospital. When he arrived at the hospital (Jefferson Memorial), they examined him and pronounced that he had renal failure and might have to go on dialysis if he so chose. Needless to say, we were quite alarmed and he said he did not want to go on dialysis. I agreed with him. However, they immediately catheterized him and by the next day (yesterday) he was much improved and the doctor said he was almost back to normal. They are also taking care of the other problem.

We had no sooner arrived at the hospital, (I followed the ambulance in my car) when our pastor showed up. I had called Allie, and she had called Judy, and she had told the pastor, Rev. J.W. Taylor, and there he was. It was not long before Allie came and then came Judy and Gene. Dub (Gramps) was taken to the hospital about 4 p.m. and by 8:30 there were 5 of us in the room with him back in the emergency area. By 11 p.m. he was in a room and settled in. Allie spent the night with him and I went home, taking Mark with me so he could crash on the couch and get up early the next morning (Thursday) and go with me back to the hospital.

Would you believe that I just got home (it is early Friday morning) after having spent the last 24 hours with Dub? (except for a short time eating lunch with niece, Donna) yesterday. Today will probably be a full day, too. I have been here at home about an hour and a half. I will be going to eat breakfast at the church with the senior citizens in a few minutes, then back to the hospital. Dub was awake all night until about 5 a.m. when he finally went to sleep. The reason we are spending time with him so much is because he wants to pull out the IV needle and also the catheter in his bladder. I noticed a blood clot in the Foley tube and asked the nurse if that was normal and she said, "no, it isn't". They have run several tests on him (ct scans and x-rays). The doctor told me yesterday that the scans showed either the liver or kidneys as okay and right now I am not sure which it was. I know that is terrible that I can't remember, but well, folks, I have had no sleep for the last 24 hours.

I will write more later because there is a lot more I want to tell you. My internet was on the fritz wednesday night so I couldn't write anything then or yesterday morning. Thank all of you for your prayers and sweet comments. I love all of you. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Bye. More later.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Recap

Hey, Y'all,
Here it is late at night (nearly ten o'clock) and I am thinking seriously about bed, but wanted to do an update. I got up this morning and filled the crockpot with pork tenderloin, to which I added some fresh herbs (onion cloves, cilantro, tarragon, sweet basil, and oregano) from my herb garden on the front porch. I chopped up an onion, added some garlic, a touch of soy sauce, some Worcestershire sauce, and a can of root beer. I put the lid on it all, and left for the nursing home about ten o'clock. Upon arriving, I saw Gramps was still in bed, but found out he had done better eating breakfast this morning than yesterday. One of the therapists had already been working on him before I got there, and Gramps room mate who is blind, told me that the therapist had really worked him over and that he could hear Gramps groaning and moaning while she worked on Gramps. I said, "Good!"

Soon after I arrived the occupational therapist worked with him and got him up into the wheel chair and took him to the bathroom so he could sit on the commode. After a while, she brought him back into his room and it was time for his lunch. She sat with him, and insisted he feed himself with just a little help from her, and was very encouraging to him. He did not eat a lot but she told him he needed to stretch his stomach by eating as much as he could. He had told me earlier that he didn't think he would be any better. I think he has given up, and only wants to be in bed.

After lunch, his physical therapist came in to work with him and get him to walk, so I left and went to have some lunch on my own. When I got back, he was back in bed and so I sat down with him for awhile and then went out to sit on the front porch and read. I came back in later and he was asleep, so I sat beside him and dozed off myself. At suppertime, they got him up into the chair and he only ate a few bites. They were getting ready to put him back to bed when I left.

At home, I quickly opened a couple of cans of green beans, got out the garlic bread to toast in the oven, and put it into the baking sheet, turned on the oven, and heated it all. In about 30 minutes, the neighbors came down to eat and we set the table and had a great time eating and talking. We then had dessert of cake and ice cream, and fresh strawberries. Laurie cleared off the table and loaded the dishwasher for me, and then we went outside and they set up the frames and garden dirt for me to plant a small garden out back. I hope to get it planted this weekend.

I am hoping Gramps will soon decide he wants to get better and will improve on his frame of mind and really begin working to get out of there. Please pray that he will become hopeful of leaving there and work towards it.

Allie and I are meeting with the nursing home team that works with him tomorrow, and then tomorrow afternoon I have a dental appointment to have my seven natural teeth cleaned. Ha (all my other teeth belong to me, but are dentures and they are soaked every night. ha ha).

Well, I gotta get to bed, or I won't get any sleep since it is getting late. Much love to each of you, my friends. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. More later. Bye now.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pity Party, Anyone?

Hey, Y'all,
Did you ever give a party and have nobody come? Well, I have been close to having a pity party today several times. You may think I am very strong, but that may be a big mistake on your part. Ha. Sometimes the weight seems almost too heavy to bear, but that is when I think of all the good things in my life, and all the people who are holding me up in prayer. Although I am quite close to tears many times, I remember how much God loves me, and how He is always right there for me, and although I do cry, I am comforted.

I was up this morning early and decided to treat myself to breakfast out, so I went to a local fast food place for gravy and biscuits. I went in and the first thing I noticed was a note on the counter that said, "Sorry for the inconvenience, but our coffee machine is out of order." I laid my head face down on the counter in dismay and then stood up. The girl said, "Sorry, but I can make you a cup of coffee, but it will be really, very strong." I replied, "No, that's okay, I'll just have water."

She asked, "Is that all?" I said, "No, I'll have a biscuit and gravy"
She asked, "One biscuit or two?" I said, "One biscuit and gravy with an extra biscuit to sop up the extra gravy".
So she said, "Would you like some extra gravy, then?" I replied, "sure".
Expecting to get an oblong platter with the split biscuit and gravy, I was handed a round bowl with the unsplit biscuit covered with gravy, and an extra biscuit.

Now, you may see nothing wrong with this, but I was disappointed and just felt like crying. This was my birthday after all, and I couldn't even get the breakfast like I wanted it. After all, their motto is "Have it your way." I couldn't get coffee or anything else my way. Go figure. So I sat at the table with my water and the gravy/biscuit not the way I wanted it, feeling sorry for myself, but I ate it and enjoyed the taste anyway. Then I thought about Gramps and what a rough time he is having of it, and thought, "Ruby, you idiot, what do you have to cry about, anyway?"

I left there and went on out to the nursing home and saw Gramps sitting up and looking like he had had a good breakfast. He told me he had a good one of cheerios and scrambled eggs and bacon, with coffee. Of course a little later, Rick, his CNA told me that Gramps had eaten his cheerios, very few bites of egg, and had also eaten his bacon, so that was better than the day before. About 10:00 a.m. Rick and I struggled to get Gramps up and walking to the wheelchair. It was a real struggle. I had to tell Gramps which foot to move, and he just wasn't receiving what I was trying to send to his brain. When we finally got him into the chair, I took him out front to enjoy the air and sunshine.

They have been giving him a Loritab every 6 hours and I think that is dulling his senses and responsiveness. I asked them today to take him off of them except one in the evening. I think that will help him lose some of the fog in his brain. I am hoping so anyway. Rick told me that he is glad I am taking an active part in Gramps' recuperation. He said he is always glad to see family members be involved in a patient's care.

After we went back indoors, his tray was ready for him to eat. He did not eat a lot of it, but he did eat some of it and also drank the Glucerna I asked them to put on his tray. I know the nutrients in that will help him to keep his energy at a better level. After lunch was over, they put him back to bed, because he was tired, and I went out to sit on the front and wait for Mark and Allie. They had said they would be over to visit and to take me out to eat lunch. While I was waiting for them to come, I called Teresa and talked with her for awhile. I missed talking to her online, so I enjoyed our chat today. Also, a good friend came by earlier while Gramps and I were outside and visited with us. It was really good to see Glen M.

Mark, Allie and I went to Perkins and had a birthday lunch, and they gave me a beautiful lapel pin (a lovely lavender color) and I immediately put it on. They had the waitresses to come and sing happy birthday to me. Of course, I sang along with them. It was great fun!

They brought me back to the nursing home and visited awhile with Gramps and me, and then they left to do something else for us. They got a frame and some dirt so that we can have a garden out back. It is the kind of frame that you put down on the ground to plant vegetables or flowers in, and don't have to dig up the ground. Really neat, too!

I came home about an hour ago, and saw it is out there just where I wanted it. I will have to get some help putting the dirt in it, but I know who will be glad to help me. It is going to rain some more this evening, I am sure, and I am more than ready to rest some. It has been a lovely day, but a kind of different birthday than I have had before. I won't complain, however, because (1) it does no good to complain, and (2) God is good all the time. I have had lots of really wonderful calls today from family members. I have talked to Carol, Teresa, Daniel, Mark, Allie, Darlene, Mae, and it has been just great! Thank you all!

Thank all of you for your kind wishes and all your prayers on our behalf. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my good buddies!
Bye for now. More later.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Drive Throught the Country

Hey, Y'all,
Well, it is raining here tonight, pretty good rain, too. I love hearing it and knowing I don't have to get out in it tonight in the dark. I don't see too well at night, and especially when it is raining. I was up by 7 a.m. this morning, and had my breakfast by 8 a.m. and was showered and out of the house by 8:45, on my way to see Gramps.

But let me tell you first about yesterday morning. I decided to carry off the trash, and when I was back out on the road, I decided to try a shortcut to go to Dandridge, where the nursing home is. My friend, Carolyn M., will appreciate this story, I am sure. I decided to take Kearney Road hoping it would lead to highway 92 where the nursing home is located. I followed Kearney Road to its end, where it T'd into Hinchey Hollow Road (the road Carolyn lives on), I took a left turn onto Hinchey Hollow Road, and followed it quite a ways. It looked like it was going to take me out to a mountain called Bay's Mountain. The farther I went, the more boogery it looked. I saw that I passed a turnoff to Flat Gap Road, and I knew that Flat Gap came out on 92, but didn't know whether to take a left or a right onto Flat Gap. (You see, I am directionally challenged). Anyway, I decided to turn around and retrace my path back to where I got onto Kearney Road, which I did. From there I went the way I should have gone in the first place: back to the highway at New Market, and on into Jefferson City and from there onto 92 and then to Dandridge. That is the story of my foray into the wilderness of country I didn't know. ha ha.

Well, back to today. When I got to the nursing home, I saw that Gramps was still in bed, but they were getting ready to get him up for his shower. The occupational therapist (Kathy) was there also to work with him and get him some practice in getting out of bed and walking a little. It took her about fifteen minutes just to get him on his feet with her doing part of the work. It was heartbreaking for me to see him struggle so, but he was doing the best he could. She had put his shoes on his feet, but he was having trouble moving them because his shoes are rubber soled and the floor is the rubber tile and was making it difficult for him to move.

Kathy told me that any time I came in during the day and he was still in bed, to insist that he be gotten up and sit in a chair. After she was finished with him, he was taken down to the showers. Rick (the male CNA) helped him dress for the day, and left him sitting in the wheel chair. Before too long, Gramps' dinner tray was brought in, and for that meal he had spaghetti and meat balls, with green beans, and fruit cocktail, milk, and coffee. I helped him with his eating (fed him, that is) and he did not eat a lot of it, but more than he ate yesterday for lunch.

I had taken a Glucerna drink for him this morning and he had drunk about half of it. I told the aide and she said I didn't need to bring any more of them because they had those for the residents, so I told her that he would probably like the Strawberry flavor best. They put one on his supper tray and he drank all of it with his meal. I left soon after he ate his dinner (lunch to some of you). I went to eat dinner (lunch) with my friend, Judy, who bought my dinner at The Minnis House, a tea room in New Market. It was delicious, as always, and she also gave me a really cute apron with peas embroidered on it that says, "Imagine World Peas", for my birthday tomorrow. I stopped at her mom's house and visited with her for awhile before I continued on home.

I went back to the nursing home this afternoon and Gramps was in bed ( it was about 4 p.m.) so I asked the aide, Cindy, to help me get him up and walking. I had brought the belt that he has had for some time that is used to help support patients that have difficulty walking. It is fastened around the waist of the patient and held onto at the back by the person assisting. She fastened it around him and we sat him up on the side of the bed, and put the walker in front of him and he held on to it, and we got him up on his feet. I held on to the front part of the walker and encouraged him to take each step, telling him which foot to move, till he got into the rhythm of it. I helped him turn the walker as he moved and we got him around the end of the bed and to the other side of the bed into an armchair. It was tough work for us, but even tougher for him. He was worn out by the time we got him around to the other chair, but I kept saying "good, good. That's great! Good job!" and then when he was seated, I clapped my hands.

I am determined that he is going to be able to walk in four to six weeks from now, if I have anything to do with it. He ate his supper pretty good after that workout. They served him a sloppy Joe and soggy onion rings, along with the Strawberry Glucerna drink. He ate half of the Sloppy Joe and part of the fruit cocktail, and drank all his coffee. I praised him for that as well.

About 6 p.m. I left and went home. I asked them to help him get back to bed and they said they would. When I got home, it was not long before my neighbors came down to watch a movie with me. (No Time for Sergeants). They also brought me a birthday cake and gifts of a movie and a devotional book. They had never seen the No Time for Sergeants movie. We had a snack and a root beer float while we watched the movie. We had a great time laughing, and I could forget my problems while watching the movie. It was wonderful!

Well, it is about time for me to take my nighttime meds and go to bed. I will probably go early tomorrow to the nursing home. I plan on stopping for gravy and biscuits at Burger King in the morning because it will probably be late when I eat lunch. My eyes are getting heavy and it has been a long day. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my friends, and thank you again for all your loving support! If my determination could make Gramps well, he would be home a lot sooner than I know he will be. People who know me know how stubborn I am. Ha. Bye for now. More later.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Texas Pics, Nursing Home News, Etc.

Hey, Y'all,
First, let me acknowledge all of you, my friends, who are leaving me comments on my blog, and also those of you who read and don't leave comments. I thank each of you, and can feel your prayers and well-wishes on our behalf, whether they are stated on the comment page or not. I enjoy reading all of the comments, too.

Gramps (aka Dub) is still really disoriented and not cognizant of where he is right now. I am hoping he comes out of it eventually. He does know me, and that is a plus for sure! He is in an excellent nursing home and we are blessed for him to be there. It has a long waiting list, and we just happened to get a bed when it became open.

I visited him on Wednesday when I went over for a planning meeting, where Allie and I met with the personnel who are working with him and discussed his needs with them. It was about an hour that we met with them, and then we went on down to visit with him. Allie had to leave and so I visited with him a while longer.

He is not eating very well. They told me that yesterday morning (Thursday) that he refused breakfast saying he had already eaten, and the night before (Wednesday) he would not eat because he was still full. He, himself, told me that he had lost his appetite. When I went to visit with him on Tuesday, he was very thirsty and had no water. Allie went out into the hall to ask about water for him, and apparently no one had brought him a water container. They immediately filled and brought one for him. The water containers are big 32 ounce cups that have a straw, and are hard for a senior lying in bed to manage, without spilling water on themselves.

I figured that a smaller container might be better, so later on Tuesday, I went to Walmart and bought a couple of intermediate sippy cups for him and upon returning to see him Wednesday, I brought them and helped him try them out. They seemed to work okay. When he I saw him on yesterday morning, he was still in bed, and was about to be getting a shower. One of the aides, Donna, was getting ready to help him. She got him up into a bath chair, which has the seat out and the patient's "bum" is in the chair hole. If the patient has to urinate, or whatever, it just falls into the floor and is immediately cleaned up. I am learning new things every day.

Also, in the bed, the patient has no Depends on, but is situated on a bed pad with another pad folded over between the legs. They determine that there is less chance of UTI's and bedsores by using them. When they are soiled they simply wash the patient and replace with clean pads.

After Dub had his shower, they brought him back (oh, yes, they drape a sheet around the patient while he is in the shower chair to take him to the shower room and back, so that none of him is "exposed" to anyone seeing him travel down the hall.) They then dressed him in his sweats and socks and shoes and brought him back. During the day, while he is up, he has on a pair of depends or pull-ups. When they brought him back, the nurse came in and removed the dressing from his incision. It looks really good, I am happy to report.

I left him about two hours after I got there, and went on to Knoxville to do "Movie Day" with my sister in law, Mae. Imazo had gone to Pigeon Forge with the seniors at their church to see the new attraction there, The Titanic, and to eat lunch out also. Mae and I went to the Red Lobster and celebrated my upcoming 77th birthday. Then we went back to her house and watched my all-time favorite comedy, "No Time for Sergeants" with Andy Griffith. We laughed all the way through it.

When I got back to Dandridge at the nursing home, I went in to visit with Dub again, and he was sitting up in a wheel chair, and looking great. He was glad to see me, and of course, I was happy to see him looking so much better. He asked me some questions about our home, about whether the mortgage was paid off and if we had insurance, etc. I told him of course and he seemed okay with my answers. That shows me that he is still concerned with life outside the nursing home. Of course, he doesn't know where he is, and I told him that he is in Dandridge in the county nursing home, but it didn't register with him.

We talked about the way the room is decorated, and he wanted to know who did it. I told him they had a group of decorators who do that job, and he seemed okay with that. I told him that we were waiting for supper and he wanted to know what restaurant we were at, and after racking my brain a bit, I said it was a new one called the "Yum Yum" because he had said he had lost his appetite and that was the first name that popped into my head.

When they brought his supper, it was chili, a toasted cheese sandwich, corn chips and crackers, milk and an orange sherbet. He ate the chili, crackers, milk and sherbet and a few of the corn chips. The sandwich was too dry, he said. Before I left, I complimented him on how well he had eaten and told him that he needs to eat when they bring food, even if he thinks he has already eaten, and that he will soon get his appetite back. I told him that he is in a little hospital and they are going to help him get better so that he can come home one of these days.

I left after he had finished his supper and when I got back to Jeff city, I stopped and bought groceries. Laurie, our neighbor, and her children came to visit me a while and picked cherries off the cherry tree out back. I told her they were welcome to them, I don't care anything about fooling with cherries, and was happy for them to pick them. Later on, I relaxed by watching some television and eating a sandwich for supper. Bedtime, then, and now it is a little past 6 a.m. I am putting a few pictures on the post today from my time in Texas. Right now, all of that seems kind of like a dream, if you know what I mean.

Pictures are: Top row - Julia, Andrew, baby Brooke and Alyssa; Flower girls - Ellie, Hannah (shepherding the other 3), Alyssa, and Marin in the front; Matt and Amy.
Second row - Wedding group of extended family; Bennett cousins (Daniel-Whit's 4, and Andrew-Julia's 2)
Third row - Brooke on new quilt I made for her; Family group of Bennett's and Grammy (including Emily and beau, Ben).

Well, this is a long post, I know, but it has been a couple of days since I posted, and I am quite the talker. Ha. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. More later. Got a lot to do today, but I am getting at least six hours of sleep a night, so am doing okay. Bye for now.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Updating Stuff and All

Hey, Y'all,
Yes, it is me...back in East TN and as much as I enjoyed being out there deep in the heart of Texas (well, actually the northeast portion), it is good to be back here. It was a wonderful wedding, and pictures were posted on facebook, but I will be posting a few here when I have a little bit more time.

When I got back here on Sunday, I was picked up at the airport by our neighbors, Scott and Laurie and their daughter, Olivia. We stopped for lunch at Applebee's near the airport. It was yummy! Then it was on to the house so I could pick up my little red Yaris, and head for the hospital to spend time with Gramps. He was glad to see me, and I to see him. All the reports from the doctors and nurses were good as to his surgery.

He had been quite agitated, however, and not understanding why he was there. He believed it was all some kind of conspiracy and did not remember falling on Friday. He wanted me to contact his Uncle Court who used to be a lawyer (and married to his Aunt Lula - who he sometimes thinks I am). He said if his Uncle Court would not take the case, then to contact lawyer Parks who used to practice law in Jefferson City. Now, unfortunately, he does not know that all three of those people are gone on to their rewards. The only way I could contact them would be maybe with a Ouija board. ha. Anyway, I told him I would take care of it, and he said "Okay, I'll put it all in your hands."

The night nurse cleared out the space between the two beds in his room (the other bed in his room was empty) and so she pushed the other bed over next to his and I was able to sleep right next to him, and we both slept very well on Sunday night. However the next night was different. He was not going to sleep at all. They gave him Demerol for pain during the day and then gave him something that was supposed to knock him out, but did not affect him at all. He spent the night pulling off his gown, and trying to get up out of bed to go to the bathroom. (They removed the Foley on Monday morning and put Depends on him.) He had not been used to wearing them and was insistent on getting up the way he was used to. Now, unfortunately, the only time he was going to be able to get up at first was with the therapist.
The nurses and workers at Morristown Hamblen Hospital are wonderful and so very caring. We thank them so very much for all they did for us!

One time on Monday night, he actually got his legs over the side of the bed and was on his way to standing up. He is a very strong man, and determination goes a long way in a person. He had his feet nearly to the floor by the time I saw him at 4 a.m. ( I had been lying on the bed facing him and had left some space next to his bed so that the nurses could come in and change him if they needed to.) Needless to say, there was no sleep for me or him on Monday night. I had been talking to the Social worker about getting him into a nursing home for rehabilitation. A bed came open for him at the Jefferson County Nursing Home, about 10 miles away from our home, so we were able to get him placed there.

Yesterday afternoon, I went with Allie to meet with Debbie, admissions officer for JCNH and we spent nearly four hours filling out paperwork for his admission to JCNH. By the time we were through, Gramps had been moved there and he is in room 6a. One of the first things he said to me was "get me out of here", but of course, that can't be right now. I do promise that when he is recovered enough to where he can walk again and is stronger, he will be back home with me, as long as is possible. The people at JCNH are wonderful and I look forward to a good experience with them.

When he was getting ready to go into surgery, Allie was with him and he opened his eyes and looked up at her, and said the same thing "Get me out of here". Bless his heart. I know exactly how he felt. I have felt the same way every time I had to have one of the many surgeries I have experienced in my lifetime.

We left the nursing home after having settled him in, and went to Shoney's to have a supper meal, and Allie and I hugged each other and went our separate ways for the evening. I watched a couple of hours of tevee and then went to bed and slept until 5 a.m. and couldn't sleep any more. So here I am. I have washed one load of laundry and have another to go. Breakfast is yet to be eaten and I have read and deleted e-mail, checked my facebook and looked at pictures of the wedding posted on Carol's page. I will be posting pictures later when I have time to download from my camera and all that jazz. Right now, I am just trying to clear the fog from my brain and rest my back somewhat.

Thank all of you, my blogging friends for the prayers and well-wishes you have sent to and for us. I will be visiting blogs when I can. Business matters have been left to be taken care of as well, which I am in the process of caring for. It looks like it is going to be raining here over the next few days (including today) but rain I can deal with. Welcome to my new followers as well! I am so blessed to have so many friends...and appreciate all of those whose thoughts are with us.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. More later. Much love to each of you, my friends. Bye for now.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Update from Carol

Hi. This is Carol. Dub did great in surgery, and Mom decided to go on home Sunday instead of waiting until Monday. He had pulled out all the IV's on Saturday night, and was distressed, from what I understand. He immediately became cooperative when Mom walked into his room. He just needed his Ruby. I'm sure Mom is consumed with taking care of Dub right really need an advocate when you're in the hospital. My personal thanks to Dub's nieces and to Allie and Mark and to Scott and Laurie for helping out until Mom could get there.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Broken Hip

Hey, Y'all,
Just a few lines today. Yesterday while I was at the church where Matt and Amy are going to be married, I received a phone call telling me that Gramps had fallen at the assisted living facility breaking his hip and was being taken to the hospital. Since that time, I have not received any more real information except that they would be doing surgery today. Allie, who has our power of attorney, is, as I write, on her way to give written permission for them to do the surgery.

Our niece contacted us to let us know yesterday afternoon. Of course, the rest of the day passed in a haze for me. It was difficult to think of anything else except him and how he was doing. His nieces and I talked several times during the afternoon. I kept worrying that my phone was going to quit on me because the charge was going down in it, and I didn't have my charger with me.

I did get a lot of pictures of the preparation of the place where the reception is taking place today. We had the wedding rehearsal at 6 p.m. and then at 7:30 we had the rehearsal dinner at an Italian restaurant. It was quite good, but does not come up to spaghetti at Louis' Original Restaurant in Knoxville, whose spaghetti sauce is sooooooo spicy! We also had a delicious salad with oil and vinegar dressing, and some scrumptious chicken Parmesan followed by a huge piece of cheesecake. Yum! There was also dessert of chocolate mint ice cream pie, made by Whitney for those who were not cheesecake aficionados, and it was yummy too.

I will be checking on Gramps a little later this morning. I have already tried but the nurse had not been in yet. I will report after I know what is going on. I do know he was giving them some difficulties last evening which is normal for those who have dementia.

The wedding is today at 2 p.m., and I will be on my way home on Monday, barring any complications with Gramps' surgery. Please pray for both him and me, and for the newly wed couple. We all appreciate it.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you, my friends. More later. Bye for now.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Roses Get Clipped and Other Doings

Hey, Y'all,
Yesterday morning was a quiet one to begin with. Carol went out to do a pool inspection, and by the time she returned the house was up and running...well, not the house literally, but the occupants. We had all had breakfast and then she, Whitney (Carol's daughter-in-law, and my granddaughter in law) and I went to the church with three boxes of flowers, (white long-stemmed roses and purple carnations) to clip them and put them in cold water. Later, we came home and had lunch (very important, you know).

Later in the day, we just kind of hung around the house and I spent some fun time with the great grands, playing a game with them, and just generally having a great time. Of course, I had to check out my blog and keep in touch with you friends out in Blogland.

Last evening, all the young women of the Bennett family and the bride and her girl friends went to the bride's bachelorette dinner, and the guys went to the bachelor's dinner. Carol and I got to babysit Julia and Andrew's 18-month old daughter, Alyssa (our wonderful pleasure!) and spent the evening playing with her. Carol baked a store bought pizza and we three had salad, pizza and milk. Yum! I spent some time drawing pictures for Alyssa and she appreciating them and coloring on a piece of paper. I drew a dog, which she called "Woof! Woof! Her family has Akita dogs.

About 9:30, the little Bennetts came home with their mom and a little later their dad, Daniel, came home. The little ones had been with Whitney's mom and dad, who live just around the corner and down the block from Carol and Daryl. That makes it easy for visiting when Dan and Whit come home from Illinois to visit.

This morning we had fresh scones for breakfast, made by a lady who has recently opened a bakery and they were wonderful! I had never had scones before, but intend to bake some in the near future. We Scots certainly invented something good when we invented them, didn't we? My family on my dad's side were Campbells, you know.

Later this morning, the girls (me included - isn't it nice that I can still classify myself with the girls? ha) are going to decorate the church for the wedding. I am taking a lot of pictures!
Those will come to you next week after I get back home.

Well that is about it for right now. I am having a grand time, thank you very much! It couldn't be better unless I could have had Gramps here with me to enjoy it. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you, my friends out in Blogland. Bye for now. More later.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Been to the Park Lately?

Hey, Y'all,
Is that a good question? Well, I have the definitive answer. Yes, I have been to the park and we had a picnic yesterday. Our grandchildren, Daniel and wife, Whitney, came a couple of days ago and yesterday, we got together with her sisters and her grandparents on her daddy's side, and also her mama and all the kids (there were a whole bunch of them. First, before the picnic, the following people went to the recreation center where the kids could play in a big bunch of foam rubber blocks, and then jump on a trampoline: our four great grands, Whitney's nephews and their mama's, Daniel and Whitney, her mama, and me.

Later, we went to Whitney's grandparent's home, and got them and then we went to the park and had a picnic, and watched the kids play on the swings and the slides. It was great fun.

Last night, we went over to Andrew and Julia's home and had supper. The people there were: Carol, Daryl, Me, Daniel, Whitney (their kids - Hannah, Austin, Noah, and Ellie), Matthew and Amy (soon to be newly weds), Emily and her feller, Ben, Andrew and Julia (their kids - 18 month old, Alyssa, and 6 week old Brooke). You should have seen all of us sitting around the table having home made tacos, and talking and just generally having fun.

After supper, we passed around the baby Brooke, and did a lot of more talking and laughing. Then we mothers were given gifts for Mother's Day, and then we got together everyone there and made a family picture which I will be posting after I get home. Look for it next week here at Blabbin' Grammy's place.

This morning, Carol made waffles for us, and then had to leave to do some work inspecting a swimming pool. She is a health department inspector here in Tarrant County. It will be a busy next few days, because as mother of the groom she has a lot of responsibilities to be in charge of. Now I must finish this up because I promised I would be ready to go with her to do a lot of stuff today. Much love to each of you. The great grands are playing this morning here and it is a lot of fun to listen to them running around and playing.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Bye for now. More later.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday in Texas

Hey, Y'all,
Wednesday morning looks lovely out there, and I'll betcha it's gonna be hot, fer shure!
My grandson and his sweet little wifey are asleep upstairs with two of their four children. Whitney and Daniel have two sons, Austin and Noah, and two daughters, Hannah and Ellie. Austin and Noah are with their other great grand parents, just down the block and around the corner. Hannah and Ellie are here with Dan and Whit. They all had supper together with Whitney's parents last evening.

Carol is at work, Daryl is at a conference in another city, and the other grandkids are kind of scattered around. I am sure that Andrew is at work, his wife, Julia, is busy at home with their two little girls, Alyssa and Brooke. Matt and his soon to be bride, Amy, are at work, I would suppose, and grand-daughter Emily is at work.

My friend, Carmen, at (sorry, I don't know how to do the link thingy) has just tagged me with the 5 question "getting to know you" questionnaire. I am supposed to tag 5 more people and will figure out who I want to tag by the end of this posting. I am to answer 5 questions five times, so here goes. (Man! This is going to take a little time to reach back for the first one, but here goes.)

1) Where were you five years ago?
A. Living with my sweetie pie at home of our daughter, Teresa and her husband, Tom, in Navarre, Florida.
B. Recovering from heart bypass surgery (just about fully recovered actually)
C. Going to Curves and trying to get back into shape (ha)
D. Getting ready to work in Bible School at the church in Florosa
E. Eating out sometimes with Tom, Teresa and Gramps

2) Where would you like to be five years from now?
A. Well, first of all, I would like to be still kicking around this old green ball we call earth.
B. Still blogging
C. Still able to drive (see my expectations are not real high, but doable)
D. Touring the country promoting a new book I had just had published.
E. Throwing money around because I would have a lot . Ha ha ha

3) What is (was) on your list to do today?
A. Just regular stuff
B. Hold and kiss my grandbabies, grandkids.
C. Play with them
D. Spend some time with Dan and Whit and everyone else here
E. Have three meals (always a good option, and one I try to always do. ha)

4) What five snacks do you enjoy?
A. Just regular stuff (that includes chocolate anything, just about)
B. Crab dip and vegetable thins
C. Hot chocolate and cheese-its (sweet and salty together)
D. Banana Split
E. Apple slices and pepper jack cheese

5) What would you do if you were a billionaire?
A) Faint first when I heard that I was, then Thank God for the opportunity to use it.
B) Set up a regular donation (anonymously) to my church
C) Build and fund a nursing home that would have only the best care and not charge the residents more than a hundred dollars a month. I would set up a foundation that would be able to continue funding it perpetually.
D) Buy a modest home out in the country (we are renters) where my husband and I could live and he could have great care as long as he lived, and I could have a large room for setting up a huge quilting frame and quilt that way.
E) Establish some kind of foundation for helping battered women and children that would put them back on their feet.

Now for the tagging:
Charmaine at :
Rebecca T. at:
Beth at:
Ocean Girl at:
Airing my dirty laundry one sock at a time at:

Sorry about the lack of links I don't know how to do that yet.
Well, I gotta be about my days doings now. I haven't had my breakfast yet.
This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you. Bye for now. More later.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Are You Coming from the Derby?

Hey, Y'all,
What a day yesterday was! At 12:30 p.m., my neighbors came down to take me to the airport for my flight to Texas. We arrived in plenty of time for the flight with a couple of hours for me to wait for it (which is what I wanted, following the rules for the airlines). When I checked in my luggage, I found I had to pay $25 for the privilege of said check in. Bummer! So I forked over the 25 bucks and proceeded to head for the security with Scott, Laurie, and Olivia walking along with me. Of course, they could only accompany me to a certain place and then I proceeded on.

Yesterday was the first time I have flown since some time before my bypass surgery and pacemaker implant, so I had to go through a gate instead of the doorway with the metal detector. I had to take my toiletries out of my carry on bag, take off my shoes, my hat, my jacket. Toiletries have to be put into a quart size plastic baggie, and cannot contain more than 3 oz. of liquids per bottle. Then I was patted down by a lady guard, had to sit down and hold my feet out so that she could see the bottom of my feet. I told her she could check the callouses on the bottom of my feet if she liked. Ha. I asked if she wanted to see my surgery scars. Ha ha. I'll bet she won't forget me in a hurry.

I was wearing the outfit that I wore to the Festival of Tables on Saturday, so you can look at that picture and see what the other people in the airport and on the planes saw. I had no less than three people ask me if I was coming from the Kentucky Derby (where the ladies all wear fancy looking hats). I told Teresa later that I should have told them that the Derby was absolutely fabulous and they should have seen the horses running and those cute little jockeys in the tight pants sitting up high on the horses. She said, "MOM! That would have been a lie!" and I replied, "No, it would have just made a good story". Well, anyway....

Our plane was on time taking off, and we were making good time, but when we got to the Dallas area, there was bad weather, and we were circling around the city for awhile waiting for directions to land, so we were then diverted to the airport at Tulsa, Oklahoma because there was not enough fuel in the plane to keep circling. We flew (rather the pilot flew us) to Tulsa and we landed and waited til he got orders to return to DFW airport. The airport had to close down until the high winds had moved out of the area so that aircraft could take off and land.

I had a really sweet seatmate and we had a grand old time talking to one another. Her name is Evon, and when I told her I had never seen it spelled that way, she told me the story of how she had been given that name. Her mom had actually named her Yvonne, but it was her dad who went to get the birth certificate filled out, and when they asked him how he wanted the name spelled, he said he reckoned it was "Evon". Her mom was really irritated when she found out how he had spelled it, but they left it that way. Evon said that she had met another lady one time that spelled hers the same way, and it had happened the same way that hers did. Ha. go figure that happening twice with the same name. Ha ha.

Evon had a a Kindle reader with her, and I had my Sony e-reader with me, so that was cool.

By the time that we got back into the air, it was after 7 p.m. (CDST) and of course 8 p.m. on EDST). It had been nearly 5 hours for what should have been a two hour flight. I felt kind of like Gilligan did on their 3 hour tour. Ha.

By the time that my son-in-law and grandson, Andrew, came to get me, it was after 8 p..m. and nearly 9 by the time we got here to Carol and Daryl's. Andrew and Julia had brought their two daughters over to Carol's and so I got to finally meet the two girls. Baby Brooke (who is only about 6 weeks old) was crying a good deal of the time because she is dealing with colic and reflux. Bless her little heart. Alyssa didn't know me, of course, and so I didn't get to hold her but I did get to hold Brooke for a while. They are both beautiful little girls.

It was close to eleven o'clock when I finally got to bed, and it felt sooooooooooooo good to get out of my shoes (I did not wear my new ones, thank God!), but I did wear heels - not high ones- so when I lay down in that bed, it didn't take me long to drift off to sleep. Thank you, Jesus!

So, now you know the story of my flight out to Dallas area. I have a whole week to wait until I have to fly home. Tonight, Grandson Daniel and his family, (wife Whitney, children: Hannah, Austin, Noah, and Ellie) will be here and I will get to see them. Life is good! More later. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you, my friends. Bye for now.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Yesterday's Happenings

Hey, Y'all,
Yesterday I more or less finished packing my suitcase to make my trip to Texas. ( You all are probably already sick of hearing about my upcoming flight, but here goes anyway, cause I hope not). I had a quiet morning, folding laundry, putting it away, packing, etc. Then lunch was a couple of chicken salad croissants that my neighbor had brought to me on Saturday evening, and a glass of water, which I sat on the front porch and ate while reading a paperback. I sat out side for awhile and just enjoyed the quiet 'being'. (You know how that is, I guess, just sitting there doing nothing but watching and listening to the birds, watching cars whiz by on the road).

About 3:30, I took off for the assisted living facility where Gramps is staying for a couple of weeks. When I got to his room, he was sitting there with his shirt and undershirt off, and when I asked why, he said he was thinking about taking a shower. I asked him when he had had one and he said yesterday. So I said, why don't you just put the clothes back on that you have laid out here on the bed, and take the shower tomorrow?

They have assigned days to take showers, and maybe he had on on Saturday, and maybe he didn't. Who knows? Anyway, he got dressed and then we sat and visited for awhile. He was sitting in the chair and watching tevee, so I stretched out on his bed and relaxed. Aaaaah!

He recognized me as his sweetie, and asked about his mama, if I had found out anything about where she is, and I reminded him again of how she had passed away from a stroke many years ago. I told him how he had told me that after she had the stroke she could only say one word, "Better, better, better". Then he remembered, and I told him that she was buried next to his dad at the West End Cemetery in Jefferson City and that we know she is in Heaven. So he was okay with that, again. Of course, when I next see him, he will probably ask me about her again.

We went down to the dining room and had supper with the other residents. The dining room is arranged in four person tables, and the residents always sit at the same table and in the same place. They have assigned seats, you see, so that makes it easier for the servers and for the residents. We had fried eggplant, with spaghetti sauce over it, along with steamed mixed veggies, garlic bread toast, and ice cream sundae for dessert. It was quite delicious. I think some of the residents did not care for it, but I told the cooks how good we thought it was, so that pleased them. The server said, "I'm glad somebody liked it!" Apparently some of the residents did not enjoy it like we did.

After supper I walked Gramps back down the hall to his room and kissed him goodbye and said I would come and get him after I get back. He thought I had already been in Texas, but I cleared that up for him. I headed back home and my neighbors came down to visit with me for awhile. After a few more hours of puttering around here, I went to bed, and now I gotta get breakfast and straighten up the house before my neighbors take me to the airport.

I just thought of something - related to blogging one's daily activities, etc. Many years ago, Ralph Edwards had a television show, called "This Is Your Life", and they would choose an ordinary person and, one by one, bring out people that had been in their lives and surprise that person whose life they were honoring. That is kind of what blogging seems to do. People revealing their own lives and speaking of those that are important in their lives. Neat, isn't it?
I really liked that show. Do any one of you remember that show? It must have been on in the 1960's. It may have begun in radio, I don't know for sure. I hadn't thought of it for years until just now.

CONGRATULATIONS! To those of you who have completed the A to Z challenge, and good wishes to each of you. Please stay in touch with me. I will be visiting blogs every day and reading them. I have a whole bunch that I follow and each day I plan to visit some so that by the end of the week, I will have visited all of them. I will also link up with those that I am not following and become a follower. I love to have that connection.

Thank you all too, for the awards. I treasure them and will eventually pass on to other bloggers. Best wishes to you all, and I will be seeing you tomorrow, I trust. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Oh yeah, I am posting a couple of pics of the quilt I just finished for one of my great grands and sent off on Friday. The quilt is reversible so that each side is colorful. Much love to each of you, my blogger friends. More later. Bye for now.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A to Z Challenge Eval

Hey, Y'all,
Well, howdy - I can't believe it is all over, but there you have it - we have finished the Z entry, and what a journey it was! I loved every minute of it. Here are my answers to the proposed questions that Arlee gave us to kind of give us focus on the evaluation.

1) What attracted me to the A to Z Challenge? Well, now, folks, anyone who really knows me would say that the word 'challenge' will almost always get my attention. I play games on the computer that I have a tough time winning. Sometimes I never win, but it doesn't stop me from trying. All I have to hear from anyone is "you can't do that" and off I go, and as my mom would have said, "Ruby, you would do it or bust a gut trying." ha.

2) Did I feel intimidated by the Challenge? Naw, not by any means. I have been reading for 70 years and have stored up a lot of language skills (sorry, I don't mean to sound conceited, but truth is truth). Just stating the facts, man. I love words.

3) Did I ever feel like quitting? What kept me going? Not a chance! Never say die - that's me. Just ask my daughters and they will tell you.

4) What did I think was my greatest contribution? Hmmm. Maybe humor and variety of subjects.

5) In finishing this challenge, do I think I might be more apt to try other blogging or writing challenges? I don't depends on what the subject matter or style of challenge it is (or they are).

6) Did I feel like I had done my best in this challenge? What could you have done better? I feel like I did the best with what I had. Perhaps I could have personalized my replies to people's comments more. I am more inclined to do the scattershot method of replies since most people write very similar comments, so I just reply in general rather than specifically. I do reply thinking about what each person has commented. I am rather new at getting a lot of comments. What a pleasant new thing that is! Thank all of you!

7) What did I learn from it? Well, for one thing, I learned a lot about different areas of the world from the variety of fellow bloggers that are connected with me. It is wonderful! I found a lot of people have much in common regardless of where they live or what they do for a living. I discovered many different styles in the way people express their thoughts, their dreams and their everyday lives. I also discovered that many are professional writers. Wow! I have been in touch with people that have authored books and are going to have books published. I have made friends that I know are going to be in touch often with me, and I with them. I have found many new people to love. I am blessed. I have discovered fellow believers with whom I have many common threads. I am indeed blessed.

8) Will I be blogging any more often now than I used to? Well, actually, I am not far away from 500 postings. I have been blogging for almost 23 months, so I believe I have posted most days except for last summer when I was so very ill I didn't much care if I posted much or not. I praise God that He healed me to where I am today. I do thank all those who prayed for me and that continue to do so.

That's all she wrote folks.. (old expression meaning 'I'm through for right now')

This is Blabbin' Grammy's evaluation of the A to Z Challenge. Bye for now. More later. Much love to each of you, my friends.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Festival of Tables - 2010

Hi, Hey, y'all,
I know I have already posted today, but I wanted you all to see these pictures of some of the tables at our Festival of Tables today. There were 18 tables that had been decorated by ladies of our church, and attended by ladies who were invited to lunch at them. Each table had different ladies to decorate them, and they had to come up with a theme for the table they decorated. Four of the tables are shown.

I can't tell you the theme of the one of the big bouquet in the center, but the one with the GAs in front of it was GAs (Girls in Action). The one with the pink bag in the chair was called "Appalachian Outreach" which was based on the mission that Carson Newman does in collaboration with the Samaritan House and the Baptist churches in our area. In the summertime churches in other states and areas come in to our area and do repair work on homes that belong to needy families or persons. That is my friend, Judy, with her daughter, Chris, standing behind the table. Judy decorated that table.

The other table was decorated by another lady, whose name is Faye (and whose children I taught many years ago) and that is the table at which Imazo and I sat. We are standing next to it, as you can recognize it in the other picture. Its theme is "Spring". The ladies do this Festival every year, and the men serve the food, led by the Pastor. Most of the men who serve are deacons. I have decorated a table for the Festival quite a few times, but last year I was still recovering from my reconstructive repair surgery from gall bladder surgery gone bad, and this year I was planning on being on the road traveling with Gramps to Texas.

Today, I decided to wear my new shoes that I bought to wear to Matt and Amy's wedding next Saturday. OOPS! Big mistake in a way, but I may be taking my older shoes along just in case. I plan to wear the new ones on the plane. If I can still walk when I get to Texas, I may wear them to the wedding. The hat I have on is to wear to the wedding as well. I was making a test run with them.

Our lunch menu today was as follows: croissants, grilled chicken breast. scalloped potatoes, green beans, muffins and honey butter, and for dessert we had a brownie with vanilla ice cream. Drinks were: water, ice tea, and coffee. it was really good, folks! I guess I will have a scrambled egg for supper, with some raisin bread. That will be good and light.

Someone asked me if I had hot tea at the tea room yesterday, and I could have, but since it was quite warm yesterday, I had raspberry flavored ice tea.

Welcome to a new reader to my blog, Linda Henk! She makes number 51 but who's counting? I just love to have someone else to visit with. Well, folks, that is about it for today. Two postings in one day. I do that every once in awhile. Much love to each of you. I am planning on going to church tomorrow since Gramps is not here, and then I plan on going to visit with him after I have lunch and eat supper with him. I wonder if he will know me or think I am still his Aunt Lula. We shall see. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off again. Bye for now. More later.

And Now?...

Hey, Y'all, (Welcome to the new followers on my blog! Wolfie made it 50! Hurray!)

Do you remember the feeling you had when you had finished the semester or year in high school or college or had just finished the huge project you were working on, and didn't quite know what to do with yourself? That is kind of how it feels to me to be finished (except for the evaluation part) of our A to Z Challenge. How about you?

Another thing with me is the fact that Gramps is not at home and it feels mighty strange not to hear him shuffling his feet along or the tap of the cane he uses. He sleeps a lot, but I always know when he is up, because my room, where I am usually on my computer, is adjacent to the bathroom wall. Sometimes he will poke his head into the doorway and say ''good morning" to me, as he heads for the kitchen. I miss him. It kind of lets me know how it will be if I ever have to leave him in the Assisted Living Facility permanently.

I had lunch yesterday at a new tea room we have in our little town (and I do mean little). It is in a house that was purchased by Kim and David, who are members of our church, and it was delightful! The house is called The Minnis House, and was purchased by one of the Minnis Family in 1912. The Minnis family were one of the wealthy families in New Market. As far as I know, they have all been gone for some time now. I will find out more about them and let you know. They once owned the Minnis store and sold all kinds of things. They went out of business sometime in the 1950's I think. Anyway, Kim and David bought it about a year or so ago and have worked on refurbishing it, and have turned it into a Bed and Breakfast, and tea room and gift shop. They have opened the tea room part of it, and are still working on the rest of it. The tea room is open Mon-Saturday from 10:30 til 2:30, and for breakfast on Saturday mornings. I had lunch there with Judy and her mama, Marian.

After lunch, which was soooooo yummy and filling, I came back home and did some tidying up of the house, and lay down for awhile to nap, but unsuccessfully. I watered the plants on my front porch, and sat out there for awhile, then came back in to work at my computer. I did some rearranging of things on one of the kitchen cabinets, and kind of puttered around. By that time, I fixed a sandwich and read a while. It was time for "House" on tevee. I love that show! It is my very favorite of all the shows I watch. This episode was the one where he was in the mental institution and learning that he really did need help putting his life together and he learned that he could let others in and trust them. It was a two hour episode.

I decided that I really needed to cut my toenails. You are thinking, "UGH! Is she going to tell me about that?" Well, yeah...I got my little plastic tub that I put some Clorox and hot water into and stuck my feet into it so the nails could soak and get soft enough to trim easily. I had put the little tub into my bathtub. Then I sat on the bath chair and read for a few minutes, and then, drying off one foot, I grabbed hold of it and twisted my mouth a certain way (important to do if one is going to do a good job of trimming), and proceeded. After I finished with both feet, I took my emery board and smoothed down the rough edges on the nails, and emptied the water, turned the plastic tub upside down and proceeded to get ready for bed.

That was it for the evening. I took my night time meds and headed for bed. How exciting was all that? Ha. Now it is nearly 7 a.m. and I have been up for an hour, ready for a brand new day. This morning, I will be carrying off the trash to the dumpster on the way to pick up my sister-in-law, Imazo, for our Festival of Tables at the church. I will drive to Knoxville, (about 25 miles from here to her house), pick her up (not literally) and we will come back to my church at New Market and enjoy a nice luncheon, followed by a speaker, who - I am sure - will be entertaining and then when that is over, take her back to her home.

More about the Festival tomorrow. I am afraid I do tend to run on - and on - and on. Well, you get the picture. I will be visiting several posts a day, so that by the end of the week, I will have visited a whole bunch of them. I do not want to lose touch with any of you all. I won't visit without leaving a hello to you. When I visit, I do read thoroughly, I am not a skimmer. I feel like if you take your time to write, I should take the time to read it.

Well, that is about it for today. Thank you again for all your support and caring. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my readers out there in Blogland. Bye for now.