Sunday, June 29, 2014

There’s No Place Like Home


The only thing in common Dorothy (of Wizard of Oz) and Dorothy (better known as “mom”) have in common is that both of them know that “There’s No Place Like Home”.  After getting mom breakfast, and later lunch, I returned a few hours later to find this scene.  Yep, there is no place like home.


Even the yapping of both dogs in their backyard, letting the neighboring dogs know they were visiting Grandma, did not seem to wake either of them.

2a   2b
2c    2d

After her nap I told mom it was time to get up and go outside for a short walk….just can’t sit around sleeping all day now can we?  She loves her garden…after living in a Independent Living situation as they did back in the Kansas City area, and then in an Apartment here in Citrus Heights for nearly two years, it is nice to have flowers and plants and a place outside she can call her own.


Marcia got mom the three swans, which in time will have plants in them, as a welcome home present.  They fit so nicely right behind the bench, and will look super once we get plants in them.  

4a    4b
4c    4d

The nearly 150 plants that I added to her garden have really helped to fill in the front area. She is so happy, and can’t wait until she can walk better so that she could get a better look at them all.  The Marigolds are starting to fill in real nice, and from I can tell, I have only lost one so far, and it might spring back in the next week if I am lucky.


Sister Sandy stayed the night over there Friday, but it went so well, they said they would be fine tonight alone.  After all, we are only a phone call away, and can be over there in a minute or so if an emergency situation developed.  Hard to believe that an 84 year old could have such major surgery and be home so quickly… pain, getting stronger each day, and with the physical therapy and home nursing monitoring her situation starting on Monday, things are only going to get better and better.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tree Trim and Mom Headed Home Friday


For the past few days Arny has been busy trimming the huge tree in the backyard by our motorhome.  Each year it seem he has to cut it back to keep squirrels from getting up on the roof of the house, and to lighten the load of the tree’s major branches to keep one of them from crashing down like the neighbor had happen a few weeks ago.


I assisted him last year and this year by holding the trimmed limbs over the waste bin and he cuts them into tiny pieces.  Now mind you, he does 90% of the work, but I know he appreciates the little help I do because the chopping into tiny pieces is the least fun of this entire project.  So far he has filled up 1 1/2 of these bins.


No before shot, and this after shot did not turn out very good due to lighting conditions, but at least you can see that the squirrels, even when scared out of their little tails by the nasty squirrel hunting dogs, cannot get up on the roof of the house anymore.  


As of tomorrow this will be the normal scene over at mom and dad’s house again.  Mom is coming home tomorrow.  She is walking, with a walker, over 250 feet at a time, gets up from bed by herself, and is going to have home therapy for a month or so until she has reached her peak performance.  Her hip pain is pretty much gone, and today she even said that her shoulder pain had gotten better too.  Being at home will be more relaxing, and we are not going to let her just “sit in that chair” all the time either.  She is “SO READY” to be home….we all are too.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mom Came HOME….Butttttt….


Mom came home today!



It was only for a four hour visit again.
(Told my sister Patty that I would use that Butt Shot on the blog)


We broke her out of her “jail” for another four hour visit at home, this time to her home instead of my sister’s home two doors down.


Marcia and I fixed lunch, bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwiches with chips and fresh strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.  Mom said it was the best food she had in nearly a week (remember she was home for Father’s Day, which means Arny’s BBQ, so that means it was the best food in nearly a week.)


You can just see the relaxed feeling she has being at home….she is planning to come home on Friday of next week, and we feel she will be to the point where she can do that.  She is getting out of bed nearly by herself right now, and walking with her walker, and with the lift-assist chairs that her and dad have, finishing her recuperation at home is probably the best thing.

3b     3c

It was a relaxing visit….

4a  4b you can see.


As Sandy and I returned mom, this 1931 Model A, was parked out front.  What struck me was seeing this old car, about the age of mom, in running condition, but in need of love and affection….much like the people inside of the Nursing Center.  My brother-in-law Arny has the ability to make this Model A (above) look like this Model A (below)


He has restored many an old car, some made into hot rods, some into original condition (although he typically added extras such as air conditioners).  With people, doctors can never get them back to “original condition”, although they do fairly well about getting them into “running condition” when certain parts break down.  


However, with people, the aches and pains of being old just don’t go away. This old Model C sure shows its aches and pains, which made it fitting to be parked where it was….in a handicapped parking space in front of a Nursing Center.  I hope this old car continues to be in running condition for many years to come.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hard Drive, Hard Pains, Family Lessons


I love laptops where the hard drive is under a panel, like the one illustrated above….but I couldn’t have that type of luck….


I had to remove the keyboard, the touchpad and panel, a few other things just to get to the hard drive. Good news though, I was able to get everything I needed from it using this neat tool like the one below.
Plug in power cord, attach usb, attach to hard drive, turn on and it became another hard drive on my computer.  I copied the files I needed, starting with the nearly 60 gigs of pictures.  Now I have the pictures on our backup laptop, and on this old laptop hard drive.  Eventually I will need to get another laptop, but I am going to take my time and get what I want at the price I am willing to pay.


Mom likes the pictures of the garden…she can’t wait to come home to see it, but I know the truth is that she just can’t wait to come home period.  Probably come home for a few hours visit again this weekend, and she hopes to be out for good a week from Friday….we sure hope so.


As for me, the legs are getting much better.  Could hardly walk on Tuesday, did pretty good on Wednesday, but today my right leg just would not “stretch out” until the ibuprofen kicked in.  


So we had a meeting with the Skilled Nursing facility people on Wednesday pertaining to mom.  Mom, Dad, sister Patty, Marcia and I met with the Occupational Therapist (OT), the Business Office representative, and the facilities “social worker”.  The case nurse was unable to be there, but they were going to pass on notes to them.  The OT gave a progress report, but would not give us their best guess as to when mom would be coming home.  When asked what the average time is for hip replacement stays she says, “We don’t have an average time.”  Family lesson one, it is not hard to come up with an average…which is when she finally said, “less than a month.”  Then the “Business Office” person gives her report.  Medicare will pay 100% for first 20 days, then they pay 80% and the back-up insurance does not cover anything.  Hence, they want 14 days up front for the time she “might” be there beyond the 20 days, but would settle for 7 days since her progress is going well.  Family lesson two, “absolutely not!”.   When told it is their “company policy”, dad says, “What are you going to do, kick her out if we don’t pay 7 days for something we don’t even know we are going to use yet?”  “Oh no, sir, we would never kick her out.”  “Well, it is ‘OUR’ family policy to not pay for something we don’t know we are going to use.”  Ok, Business Person is blown out of the water….time to unload our big guns now. We then talked to them about some of the shortcomings mom has experienced, but assured them that for the most part, everyone has been so nice and in general we have been pleased.  I don’t want to go into the shortcomings, but let’s just say, they seemed to be alarmed by a few things we shared with them.
One thing I had to replace was Photoshop Elements, going to version 12 from version 11.  I think I am going to like this version more than the older version….sure going to have fun with it.

1b   1a

The picture to the left is what I published in my last blog, the one on the right is in this blog. Same picture, but the one on the right is cropped, and touched up a bit to make the lawn look better.  To me, taking good pictures need to be followed up with a touch of Photoshop to help the picture look more presentable.   Most of these pictures only need a slight adjustment to the “lighting”, some need a slight touch of color, but most need to be cropped.  Old photographers once did this in the dark room…now it is done quick and easy on a computer.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mom’s Flower Garden –or– Planting Flowers = Sore Body


When mom was getting closer and closer to surgery, she gave very strict orders….be sure to water my flowers!  It was way back then that I had decided that when she returned, she would have lots and lots of flowers in her front garden instead of flowers in a dreary hospital room or drearier skilled nursing rehab room.  


The first photo shows more flowers in the area that had flowers already.  Above is how it looked before I got to work….you can see my trusted assistant up in this photo if you look near the top, Skruffy was with me all the way.

image    image

These three pictures show the areas which have no flowers…or correctly stated, “Had No Flowers”.

image     image

Above is a view left to right and then right to left.  All together I planted 12 larger plants, and 125 smaller Marigold plants.  I am not a plant person….can’t remember the names of most plants, but I do know how to plant them.  Seven bags of top soil, a couple of soaker hoses to help with the watering chores, a large bucket of weeds pulled…all together, including the trips to Home Depot, it took a good six hours.  It will probably take a good six or more Aleve over the next few days to get rid of the soreness too. 


Yes Skruffy, time to go home now!  Hey, let me ask you a question little girl….”How come your paws are not full of dirt?  Oh, I get it…you were protecting me from the giant squirrels.  Good girl, let’s go home, I have some pills to gobble down.”

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mom Home-Visit for Father’s Day


Today we kidnapped mom from the Skilled Nursing Facility and brought her home for Father’s Day.  She was OVERJOYED to be able to get out into the sunshine, fresh air, and among family members.  (Ok, we really did not kidnap her….they allowed her to come home for up to 4 hours.)


Of course, if we are eating together, then it must be another barbeque, and Arny did up some more of his delicious ribs.  That’s sister Patty over talking to him, and Bubba is doing what Bubba does best, watching and following Arny’s every move.  


Mom had a call from my oldest brother Jim and his wife Carol from Texas.

image   image

Upper left is Marcia, sisters Patty, Sandy and Donna.  Upper right is Donna, Patty’s daughter Ashley, Sandy, and Patty.  Bottom is Arny, Dad, Ashley between her grandparents, and the star of the day…mom.  Yes, it was Father’s Day, but the best gift for all us Fathers was having mom home for Father’s Day Dinner and a relaxing day.

image   image

Sandy and Patty got back from their week trip down south and over to Las Vegas…Sandy had some funny stories about the trip, one of those “you have to be there as she told the story” type of things.  She laughed so hard she couldn’t even talk at times…. brought back memories of our childhood when she would do the same....of course, having four brothers egging her on didn't help one bit back then.  I heard from each of my kids and I only wish mom could have had all her kids together…perhaps another day soon. 
It was a WONDERFUL Father’s Day for all....hope you all had a good day too.