Friday, October 21, 2016

I was daydreaming one day last week.....

Yeah, it is something I do once in awhile. I usually enjoy daydreaming, and on my way to work, for some reason, I was thinking of this one scene in the movie "Shall We Dance" starring Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, and Susan Sarandon. In this one specific scene, Richard Gere is coming up the escalator, dressed in a black tux, carrying a single red rose. (Ok, I'm hopelessly romantic at times) Susan Sarandon turns, sees him, and is puzzled why he is there. And the reason? He came to dance with her. While she is working late. Her two co-workers were in near-tears over the scene (as I was). They danced, and then went to a party. Not going to tell you all about it.

I was thinking of that scene as I drove in to work yesterday, and a small car pulled in front of me with words written on it's back window. Well, not written, but professionally printed. It must be a business, I'm assuming. It got off the Interstate before I could read what it was about. Oh - what did it say? "Pure Romance".

Did that not fit in with what I was thinking? Pure Romance. Something most women, and occasionally a few men, think of.

I went further in my thinking after that, and began to think of how God loves to romance us. If one is sensitive to it, they will recognize the coolness of the morning created just for them. Or if they would just pause and glance about, they may find a rose or a daisy or a flowering weed, for that matter, created to bring joy for that moment.

God loves us so much, He goes out of His way to show us His love. He does so many little things - and we miss them, because we are distracted, or angry, or indifferent. But they are there.

As I pull out of my driveway most mornings I will pause to look at my roses and admire their beauty. I admire how our yard always looks so nice (thank you Mr. Landscaper!!). I admire the paint job completed on our house that has brightened it up.

It's all about romance. What have you done lately to bring about romance in your life? Was it an unexpected note? A neatly timed, yet unexpected, call? Was it bringing a rose to the one you love, just to say "I care about you.".

Maybe it is even cleaning up the house without whining. Keeping the bathrooms clean. Doing the laundry one week so your spouse doesn't have to. Or just taking time to sit together and just talk. Go for a cup of coffee or tea. Ice cream is even better.

And it isn't just your spouse or significant other. What about your children? Of course it isn't ROMANCE - but showing them that you care in different ways.

What is your idea of pure romance?

Friday, October 14, 2016

it's been a rough week....

I have heard of people losing their pets and how sad it made them, but I had never truly understood their sorry until it happened to me. It has been, well, I can't really say a 'rough' week, it's just been a different week. I have found myself looking for Marley, wondering where she is, what she is doing.... she used to sit at my feet at the dinner table; now that spot is empty. At times she would sit on the futon with me when I did my quiet time; now that spot is empty. She laid next to my chair. She kept hubby company while I was at work. Her presence is certainly missing in our home.

It's been a different week, too, in that my boss has been on vacation all week doing the - what we called 'The Dad Tour' - as she and her husband were visiting both her dad and his dad this week back east. It's been quiet here at work, and with all the changes going on, that can be a good thing, and one that is uncertain. A couple positions were eliminated a week ago - in leadership - which is interesting. One, I'm not really sorry to see go for I did not feel he was a good leader. However, this other one is also my friend, and I will be sad when it is time for her to go.

Sometimes they say our health is reflected in things that are going on around us. I can understand that. With missing Marley, the changes here at work - well, I find I just want to be quiet more. I want to be alone more. I want to step back. Depression? Could be, somewhat. I recognize that. And that is acceptable, as long as I don't allow it to control me. I did allow myself to step back and just be quiet the other night. Hubby was at church, and when I came home to an empty house, I wanted it to be quiet. I didn't turn on the TV, nor radio. I sat in a chair and worked on a quilt for most of the evening. I just wanted to "be". And it was good.

I'm finding too that - but I do blame it on the cooler weather - I don't want to wake up in the mornings! Even though I go to sleep right away at my usual time, I find it very difficult to wake up to get ready for work. Many times I wish I could just sleep another hour or two. Tomorrow I will get to sleep a little later, but I do have a full day planned.

Last week at church I got "cornered" (seriously!!) that my adopted aunt's apartment is a total mess. Now mind you, when she lived in her house, I was over nearly every Saturday to clean and help her get things done. But since she moved to the independent living apartment, I had hoped she could keep a much much smaller place clean. I was wrong. Although I have gone to see her and taken her out to dinner, every couple weeks, I haven't gone to her apartment as she has met me at the door, and also wanted me to just leave her at the door when we returned. But last Sunday I was told her apartment was a mess. My first instinct was to mention that I am only "adopted"; she has a niece who will be inheriting everything, who lives barely a mile from her. Since when did cleaning the apartment become MY responsibility?

But I couldn't say that. I love my adopted aunt and I will happily go over and try to help her sort things out. She's 94 and she just finds it hard to let go of mail, of anything, actually. I am sure what I will find when I go over. But I will go over tomorrow morning. No, I haven't called her yet; I told hubby that we can go out for breakfast, then I will purchase a breakfast for my adopted aunt, and then call her to tell her I'm coming over. She can sit and eat while I work on bringing some type of order to the apartment.

Lord, help me to know what to dispose of and what she will need to keep! I don't mind helping her at all, I love this adopted aunt who loved me when we first came to that church and needed a friend. She, along with her siblings, loved on us and adopted us as niece and nephew over 30 years ago. I just find it interesting that her niece who will inherit everything - does nothing to help her. So sad.

Well, I need to get to work as it is another workday. Hope you have a great day!


Friday, October 7, 2016

Today is the day...

It is going to be a tough day. Even now, the tears gather in my eyes, knowing what this day is going to consist of. It is only 7:08AM so for now, can only wait.

Our beloved Marley has reached her final day. That brings tears flowing down my cheeks to even write that statement. She's had good days and bad days since we found out she had lymphoma. Two days ago she wouldn't eat breakfast - but we did get her to eat dinner. Yesterday she would neither eat nor drink water; just laid either on the tile floor, or if hubby got her to go outside, she would go lay in the dirt in the shade. Last night about 6PM she went to her crate, and laid down. I think we managed to get her up once to go pee, but she went back to her crate and refuses to move from it. She just lays there, eyes blinking. Ever so often she will shift her body.

The nodules on her neck this morning are huge. I'm talking at least golf ball size. You don't have to touch them to see them. I'm hoping she isn't in pain, and yet, once I thought I saw a tear...and that broke my heart. We've managed to get a little water in her by taking a straw and dropping water through her teeth. She then would raise up and lap up a little from a small cup.

Our hearts are broken. Hubby is taking it hard because he is with her all day - so whether he meant to or not, he has become very attached to her. When the vet is open, we will pick her up and take to the car, and go to the vet. It's hard to think that one would have control over life and death this way, but death for her is imminent, and we do not want her to suffer. We will say our goodbyes one more time, stay until the end, and then leave her.

A friend at work thinks I should get her ashes, but we have discussed this and agree that we don't want them. I had asked her 'what do you do with them?' She commented when her dog died, she got the ashes, and it comforts her. I'm sorry to sound crude.... but they are ashes. I could just see me knocking over the urn and spilling them all over the floor. sigh. I have our memories with Marley, and that is enough.

So with this news, I'm done for today. I'm working from home so until we leave to go to the vet, and when we return, my thoughts need to be focused on work and I can get some things done. Perhaps that will help me to get through today.

So long, my Marley girl. I love you so much.

Addendum. And it is over. Our precious Marley is in doggie heaven. Hubby and I both were calling the vet with questions of 'is it time'? 'is it the right thing to do?' and still wondering if we should. But we finally took her to the vet. And then it was over. We stayed with her a few minutes, shedding our tears, and saying our goodbyes. My heart is broken. But Marley will always live on in my heart. God speed, my Marley girl.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Recent happenings...

This post is mainly to update family - although I think only one person occasionally still reads my posts. Which, I must admit, have gotten scarce lately. I had gotten off track of what I wanted this blog to be. In fact, I think since 2013 my entire life has been turned upside down and spit out due to other people's insecurities and accusations and comments. It wasn't a normal spit it out and let's move on, it was hateful. And very damaging to my very soul.

But I have moved on past that and even this morning as I reflected on how I have worked my way back to living life again, I know I still have a ways to go. I recently finished reading a book titled Without Rival by Lisa Bevere. I saw myself in some respects in it, and yet, not really. What am I talking about? The book talks about comparing yourself to other people. Is there a special list you want to be on and you don't make it - does it upset you? Is there someone's attention you really want and someone else gets it - is that a problem for you? (I'm not talking parent/child here). What about if you see someone who seems to be more "spiritual" than you, or more "athletic" than you, or more " (you fill in the blank) " than you..... how does that make you feel? Are you comparing your abilities, skills, and yourself to this person's abilities, skills, and standards? DON'T! God made you in His image, gave you specific gifts, (yes, it is your responsibility to develop them) and He is the one who has good things planned for your future. Anyway, I reflected on how in the past I always wanted to be like my little sister, because I thought she was funny and beautiful. God showed me years ago that I was doing that - and I shared that with her. THAT didn't go over good - that I wasn't going to do that any more. Anyway - on to my story from last weekend.....

Last Friday, one week ago from today, on my way home from work (as usual) I called my older sister, J. I called numerous times on my way home, and got no answer. I shrugged it off and thought maybe someone had taken her out to dinner. Monday on my way home from work, I again called J, and again got no answer. I called numerous times with no response. Not that I was worried, but I was concerned, for this sister lives alone. I called her son to go check on her; he didn't answer his phone. I called again. No answer. I called my younger brother, no answer. Called my sister again and still no response. Called my little brother again and got him. I expressed my concerns about J and asked that he run by and check on her.

Well, he had something else going on, he'd have his wife call her (like I had been calling her for nearly an hour with no answer!!) and would get ahold of her son, who wasn't answering his phone. By now I had arrived at home. I texted my older brother to see if he had talked to J over the weekend - nope, it had been over a week. I text my little sister to see if she (since they are not 'friends' I doubted it, but I was grasping at straws)had heard from her over the weekend. No one was volunteering to go immediately go over to check on her (granted it was 9PM) - two said they would go if I thought they should. Again, this was Monday, and I had no answer on Friday, and was getting no answer on Monday either.

Long, long story short..... My little brother got ahold of J's son, and he went to the apartment - where he found her on the floor in the bathroom. He called 911 and she was transported to the hospital, where she still is today. She is to be moved to rehab, if all her tests come back ok.

Seems she went to the bathroom just before I called on Friday, fell, and didn't have the strength to pull herself back up. She laid on the floor for four days - Friday until Monday evening - before she was found. Without food, without water. She did have enough sense to flush the toilet, get her fingers wet to keep her lips and tongue from drying out. And, yes, she did make a huge mess on the floor. AND, from what I understand, she had a cane in the bathroom and banged on the walls and floor, trying to get attention from anyone. No one heard her - and her floor is destroyed and I assume the walls are too. I believe that her keeping her lips and tongue at least wet kept her alive, although I don't think she would have made it another day. She had been without all of her medication for four days; no food, and no water to drink. She had been spending most of her days in bed anymore, watching TV, so she had lost muscle tone in her legs and had to strength in them to even stand up. I'm sure she crawled TO the bathroom, and when she fell, she couldn't move. Her lack of medication over the four days also made her incoherent, as well as lack of fluids.

The first day I called her in the hospital she was still incoherent and hallucinating. She would say things you knew were totally off the wall - she was not in Tennessee, she was not doing this or that - we would have to let her talk, then bring her back to the subject. The second day I called she was better, but still incoherent at times. Finally she said, "I've got to go - I've got stuff to do". I have no idea what that was about. Yesterday I talked with her and she seemed to be overly drugged. Not sure if I could explain it. She had been without her meds for four days, the hospital did a medication reconciliation (meaning they checked to see if she really needed the drugs and if they worked together or against each other), and I don't know if they are giving her the regular meds or something different. We didn't talk long.

She is to go to rehab today, and I will call on my way home from work tonight to see if she made it. She will probably need to move to an assisted living location, or at least get a "help me I've fallen and can't get up" button.

What is really sad is that she commented Wednesday night that I was the only one who ever checked on her frequently. I try to call Monday-Wednesday-Friday on my way home from work. Occasionally I will call on the weekend if she texts and says "call me". Usually it's something she has seen on the news and wants to tell me about.

So that is my story. I don't know if she will ever completely recover from this, but my prayer is that she will accept this as a second chance, a 'do over' and will start being active and being involved with life. She wasn't taking care of herself, she just didn't care. I am sure I will hear at some point she wished I had let her die there. But I'm glad I pursued getting someone to check on her, even though I wasn't confident something was wrong. One day we don't talk is no big deal (then), but when it was a Friday-Monday, I was concerned.

Do you have someone in your life that you haven't touched base with for awhile? Pick up the phone or send an IM to check on them, on their well-being. You just may save their life. I'm grateful God used me, 1800 miles away, to check on my big sister.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Another month about gone!

I look at the calendar this morning and realize that September is nearly past us. Where does all that time go? And then when I look back even over the past week or so - I see so many missed opportunities to DO something. To create something. To accomplish something. And I did nothing but sit. Well, until last night.

My boss's birthday is Saturday, but she is taking a PTO day tomorrow, and on Monday she has a trip to Corporate. Looking at her schedule, it looks like she will also be at another office on Tuesday - so I am trying today to get this all pulled together. I want to celebrate her special day - early. I was going to make a cake last night - but in fear I wouldn't get it done, or it wouldn't come out right, I stopped at the store on the way home and bought a cake. Then I went ahead and made cranberry pumpkin nut cupcakes and little loaves.

I brought them all in to work today. My boss is at the other office until about 10:30 today so hope she gets over here for I am planning on surprising her about 11:30AM. I had planned to do it in a huddle room - but unfortunately, that huddle room is already taken, so guess we will just move it to her office. I will figure out some way to handle it there. Still need to send out an updated email identifying where we will be meeting. She thinks she will be in a meeting with our CMO and VP-Ops. I hope we can pull this off.

I'm doing well, I think, on this challenge I've been on since 9-5-16. I have even exercised every since day since then - whether a video or walking for 30 minutes. I haven't lost much as far as weight, but I do believe I have lost some inches. I weighed this morning, and I'm still down nearly 3 pounds, but the better part is that my clothes are fitting better. I'm enjoying this in that I am pretty much eating healthy. I occasionally fall off the wagon (like pizza the other night with the grandchildren - but I did only have 2 pieces - usually I eat 3 or more). I have managed to be pretty good during all the lunches..... yesterday I DID have potato chips though. :-( But I didn't eat any dessert and that is a big positive!! Our challenge goes until October 2nd so I hope to see a big drop in inches at least by then. Yeah, had to measure BEFORE we started the challenge too. AND take photos. Those before photos were NOT pretty at all!

I'm really hoping that soon others will see that my body is healthier and more flexible, and thinner. Then perhaps they would ask how did I do it and I could share that with them. I won't pressure anyone into anything; but I want to help them get healthy and live a good long life. I do have some comments about something that happened this past weekend.... but I will do another post later and share it.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Tough Weekend.... still processing through....

We had a tough weekend. This one more so than others. Let me tell you our story....

Middle of August we took our dear Marley for her shots and checkup. She got 4 shots, and given a clean bill of health. A couple days later she quit eating. Still active, but refused to eat. Hubby takes her back to vet hospital (where we have taken her since we got her). They suggested a canned dogfood that might entice her to eat. We buy six, then get a case because she did start to eat again. The Dr also gave us 5 prednisone pills to give her. She started eating again. I am sure by now I'm getting my story mixed up - but she quit eating again. Can't remember now if hubby took her back again - or not - but he did go back on his own I think last Wednesday.... and talked with the doctor because the only thing we could get her to eat was a chicken breast if I handfed her.

The vet hospital doctor suggested we do blood work $$. Hubby said we'd think about it.

I come home from work on Friday and hubby tells me to pet Marley and feel her neck. She has two golf-ball size nodules at her throat. Still won't eat. Not even chicken from my hand. We take her to another vet by us. They had to give her a shot to paralyze her because she started snapping at them. I'm guessing she's tired of doctors! The assistant found the nodules - and a few others. The doctor exams her and tells us her tonsils are totally swollen (who knew dogs had tonsils?) but that with the huge nodules in her throat (lymph glands) and the ones the found behind her rear legs and her front legs, they were confident it is lymphoma.

Yes. Lymphona. Marley is only 4 years old. We were shocked and didn't know how to even respond. The Vet gave us options of he could remove a nodule and examine it; he could send us to another specialist who could do chemo, which would probably kill her or give her one year (seriously?), we could give her prednisone to reduce the swelling and see how that goes. All in all - the $$ kept adding up.

Still in shock and disbelief, hubby wasn't saying anything. I finally said that because we hadn't had time to talk about it or even process, for now we would opt to do prednisone to get the swelling to go down, and get her eating again (she has lost 6 pounds in the 2-3 weeks). He said fine, and gave us pills to last a couple months. Nothing was said about "how long", or "bring her back in xx months so we can see how she is doing".... nothing. So we are at a loss as to how long she will be with us. It could be a year or more or ?? We have no idea. We don't want them doing anything to her to give us a lesser quality of life, and it doesn't matter what "stage" the lymphoma is - it isn't going to change the prognosis.

So after a couple hours of waiting to see if the drug would wear off, we brought her home in a blanket because she still couldn't raise up. I kid you not - I don't know what they gave her, but she was paralyzed until nearly 10:30 PM and she got the shot around 3PM! We finally coaxed her all the way up about 10:30 and got her outside to pee and everytime she would try to walk, she would collapse. By morning she was much better.

Sunday when we came home from church she had had one pill, so she ate chicken from my hand. By her evening meal - of cooked egg, rice, and chicken - she inhaled it. Every single rice particle. Ok, she left a couple. But she ate the entire meal.

We have decided we will give her the prednisone for as long as we can to keep her eating and moving. When the time comes, whenever the time comes, I guess it will happen. Right now she doesn't appear sick; the swelling has gone down on one nodule. Quality of life - that's more important at this stage.

One day at a time takes on a new meaning.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Saying 'see ya later'....

Yesterday was a fun and interesting day. Grandpa and I had the honor of moving one of our granddaughters into her college dorm. Mom and dad were in Prescott moving the son into his college so we got to help our granddaughter. The day started out very early - and she was so excited (I think) about moving into her "dorm home" that she was ready by 5:15AM! So we headed out the door and was in line fairly quick - in fact, I think we were in the first group of 10 cars to be unloaded. They didn't wait until the 7AM schedule - once they moved us up to the dorm line we were to go to, it took less than two minutes for the students helping to unload my van and get it moving towards the dorm on the 4th floor.

Grandpa and I continued on until we could park the van, then walked part way back before being asked if we wanted to ride (students driving carts around) and answered 'yes!" for we weren't sure where we were going. Our granddaughter met us in the lobby then it was climbing 8 flights of stairs (4th floor) to her dorm room. We helped move things around a little. One roommate had moved in the day before because she was in band. Another arrived while we were there. Looks like our granddaughter will have her room to herself since her previous roommate wanted to room with another friend. So we stayed until there was nothing else for us to do. Taking our granddaughter back to our house to get her car, it didn't take long for her to head out again to get more of her things and back to the dorm. She was so excited to be back "on her own" and with her friends.

Picture her as climbing on her bed, smiling real big, and with a big sigh say.... "Home". She was definitely very happy when we left. And it seems her hives have started going away. Imagine that.

I'm back at work today and it's only Wednesday but a long week. My boss is in California yesterday and today, and then flies to Florida for Thursday and Friday. It's all work. Then she's gone a few days in September, then does the 'Dad Tour' in October where she and her hubby fly back east to visit both dads.

We don't have any more trips planned. I was to go to the 'Yellow Ribbon' with a daughter-in-law in September - but it got postponed. I don't have that many vacation days left - if I use them all before it's scheduled, I won't be able to go. Trying to save one of my two left.

Need to plan a grandma day.... missing my princess who lives out of town. Maybe soon.