Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My most memorable Thanksgiving

I have eaten Thanksgiving dinner at least 64 times in my life but I never had a Thanksgiving like the one I had in 1982.  My parents had moved to Poteau, Oklahoma about 150 miles from my home.  Myself and my two 12 year old's were there along with my brother Mike and my older brother and his then 11 year old daughter came as well.  In addition to all the human beings we brought our dog and my niece's hamster.  It was quite the menagerie.  

Well, my mother was in charge of the meal, as usual, and I was trying to do my duty as the cook's helper.  My mom would get rather frazzled when she was cooking for an army and especially as important a meal as Thanksgiving.  So I knew it was best to wait until I got my orders before just diving in to help.  

Well, the turkey had been in the oven since breakfast but I noticed there was no roasted turkey smell wafting through the house but my mom seemed to have things under control and who was I to intervene.   So I got the table set and everything was ready for the main act when my mother let out a scream that her turkey was still raw...........it seems the oven was broken the whole time.  

So with my mother in tears and somehow making this all my father's fault for moving her to Poteau in the first place my older brother quickly got the phone book to see if there was anyplace open where he could get a Thanksgiving dinner.  The Black Angus Restaurant was open and Butch immediately drove there and purchased a Thanksgiving dinner for 12.  Help was on the way.....that us until my brother (who is anything but agile) managed to spill the entire meal in the car complete with giblet gravy. While he was in the car trying to scrape the meal off the seats and floor board another scream was heard only this time from a younger set of pipes.  It seems my dog ate my niece's hamster or at the very least mauled it to death.

A considerable amount of time lapsed before we were all gathered around the table eating dinner.  The offending dog banished to the back yard and the rest of us trying to pick around the floor mat fuzz for the best turkey pieces. 

Monday, November 24, 2014


I haven't posted in awhile because other than the weather I had nothing to talk about.

We got 4 inches of snow last Sunday but the streets were a sheet of ice Monday morning.  I didn't get the message that we could report to work at 10:00 am that morning so I there at 8:00.  There were a few wrecks on the way and my car didn't want to slow down at the entrance but I made it just fine.  The sun came out later and quickly melted the snow.  We had a slow warm up the rest of the week.

My brother was having anxiety issues last week partly because of the weather and maybe the upcoming holidays were getting him down a little.  I had the ability to bump up one of his meds so I did and he has been a little better since then.  Holidays can be hard for lots of people but especially for those who suffer with a mental illness.  Depression can really be an issue and I hate to see him suffer at all.  He cried a lot last week because of all the loved ones we have lost.  I know how it makes the heart ache....mine aches as well but I can't let Mike see that.  So I remind him of all the family he still has and how much we all love him and that we are making new memories.  Then I just keep telling him about the good food he will get to eat on Thursday and all the leftovers he will take home and ............that does the trick!  He really gets excited about food!  Just like a man!

I had a great weekend.  I shopped with my twin daughters but separately.  Julie and I had lunch on Saturday and shopped and I kept up the whole time.  She is like a bullet so I was really happy my stamina has improved considerably.   On Sunday I had lunch with Jamie after church and then we shopped.  I was a little tired from my Saturday outing but did OK.  It is just wonderful to finally feel good again.   I've almost finished my Christmas shopping and I'm only working 2 days this week.  I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving because I have so much to be thankful for this year.  I'm truly blessed!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone........may your holiday be blessed as well.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Who shrunk my pants?

The winds have died down a bit and the 40 degree weather doesn't bite like it has all week.

Last Saturday I dug through my old clothes looking for a better fit. (since I lost weight)  I found a pair of jeans that fit perfectly (last Saturday that is) and was looking forward to wearing them today.  

But, wait........something happened.........these can't be the same jeans.  They fought back when I put them on this morning.  With a lot of tugging I finally got them buttoned but my breathing is definitely restricted.  I told Ron I was wearing them anyway just to punish myself for not sticking to my eating plan.  It's amazing what 6 days can do.  Somewhere in the back of my head I knew it hadn't been a very good week so I really wasn't that surprised!  I only have to look at food to gain weight (or so it seems).

We are starting to gear up for Christmas around here.  Our golf cart parade is the first Monday after Thanksgiving and though we have an idea for our float we haven't done one thing to get ready to build it.  Hard to believe this will be my last Christmas here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


On Tuesday a young man who was tired of being homeless got a gun and took hostages in a office building on the west side of town.  Although he fired several rounds into a glass door in order to gain access to a law office there were no other shots fired during the 5 hour ordeal.  The young man instructed the secretary to call the police.  

Police negotiators were able to convince the man to release all his hostages except the secretary.  He held her hostage for the entire time.  She was exceptional and kept him calm by discussing everything from politics to religion with the man.  Anything he wanted to talk about she talked with him.  He even allowed her to text her family to let them know she was safe.  

Once the standoff was over and he was in custody he was polite and cooperative.  He said he just wanted to go to jail.  He was tired of being alone and on the street. 

There is something so sad about this story!  

One of my co-worker's husband was in that building and they have two very young children.  His wife collapsed when she heard the news that he was a hostage and that shots had been fired.  Those hours of waiting were hard for the families of the hostages.

But....I'm sad for the young man as well.  I don't think he ever had the intention of hurting anyone.  He just wanted to go to jail.  Well, his wish came true.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Getting ready for the arctic blast!

Well, the wind is sweeping down the plain around here and going to be sweeping even harder tomorrow.  This is our last day of warm weather and tonight the thermometer drops big time.  We are going to cover the outside faucets tonight and get ready for the arctic blast!

I met a woman yesterday at church who had both her knees replaced at the same time and only 5 weeks ago.  She is up moving and going without so much as a limp.  Did find out we have the same doctor but she's only in her 40's so he was willing to do both her knees at the same time.  Either way it was a good recommendation.  Of course you couldn't pay me to have both my knees replaced at the same time!

My daughter had to put her cat Tillie down this morning.  She and her husband rescued Tillie about 4 years ago and they were told at the time that she was a very old cat.  About 2 weeks ago Tillie went blind literally over night.  They worked and worked with her to try and help her acclimate but the poor cat would do nothing but walk in circles and cry.  It was just awful to watch.  They took her to the vet on Saturday and he advised them to put her down.  So they spent the entire weekend holding and stroking Tillie (and telling her good-bye).  

It is amazing how animals can work their way into our hearts even an old be-dragled stray cat like Tillie.  Jamie always said Tillie acted as if she were being forced to live with them.  I think she had led a very independent life on the streets before she was "rescued" by two tender hearted animal lovers.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Short memories

Before Tuesday's elections congress had an 11% approval rating......yet 96% of those in office were retained.  I don't get it!

I hate politics!  I feel like we need to grab our butts and hang on cause it is going to be a bumpy ride.

I will give my husband kuddos for not rubbing it in.  He has more class than I do.  

So the pendulum swings.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dr. Visit

I have a busy day ahead.  I am taking Mike to see his psychiatrist this morning and trying to squeeze it into my work day.  Last night I was on the phone with Mike and he was asking me to remind him to take his noon pill.  Somehow we ended up on two different planets because I thought he wanted me to remind him to take the pill at lunch time.  What he wanted was for me to remind him to take the pill with him.  I can't tell you how many times I get it wrong...... I don't remember to ask him a million questions in order to figure out what he is actually talking about.  What's funny is he NEVER forgets his pills.  He is obsessed about his medication which is actually a good thing.  It is rare for schizophrenics to be so diligent about taking their medication so for this I am thankful.

Mike's Dr. is a really nice guy.  He seems to truly enjoy visiting with my brother.  Last time we were there he told Mike that he is one of his favorite patients because Mike is always so upbeat.  This absolutely thrilled Mike to death! Mike always gets a little anxious before his appointment because he is scared the doctor will change his meds.  No matter how many times I assure him that if it ain't broke he won't fix it.  But that doesn't ease his anxiety much.

Tonight Ron and I are taking Mike to dinner as a reward for how well he has been managing his money.  With his cognitive impairment it is really hard for him to count his money or figure out how much he has but he has managed really well this week so he deserves a night out!

It was never in my plan to be a caregiver for my brother.  Maybe I didn't really have a plan.  But life sometimes leads us on a path we may not have chosen but since I'm here I'll do the best job I can.

Monday, November 3, 2014

My morning started with a bang (literally) Mike got the bang when he fell face first and split his eyebrow open.  He called me this morning at 7:30 and told me he had fallen and was bleeding pretty bad.   I got the first aid kit and drove over to find he had a substantial laceration in his eyebrow and a big ole rug burn on his forehead.   I tried to close the eyebrow with butterfly strips but without success so I took him to urgent care where he received 3 stitches.  He is fine but will have a black eye and will probably be sore for a few days.  Luckily he didn’t hit his head on anything on the way down.

I got to work 2 ½ hours late but since I have to work tonight it will all even out.  I’m going to have to take off again on Thursday to get Mike to his psychiatric appointment.  I told Ron this morning that one of us definitely needs to retire.  It’s way too hard to take care of Mike and work at the same time.

Weight loss has been a nice bonus from my hip replacement.  Because I'm more active and gave up caffeine and diet drinks....I've lost 30 pounds.  Everything I gained while I was inactive from hip pain.  Back in my old clothes................hooray!

Election Day tomorrow....don't forget to exercise your right to vote!