Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Anniversaries

Last year on this date about this time, I was getting my appendix out. My body must be remembering the yucky feeling and the pain, because I don't feel all that well today. I called Toby and told him that I was feeling kind of off my feed, but it could just be gas (such an old woman thing to say). He asked if I wanted to paint on the fence today. (Eye blink. Dumb look) Sometimes I wonder if I'm speaking a different language than Toby. I told him "no" on the fence, and that I had only called him to tell him how I felt and that if he came home and I was dead, that it was the gas and yucky feeling.

It is also the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. I don't want to ever forget that. Sometimes I think the Media has forgotten - like they want to forget Benghazi. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Oldies

My mom has a long term care policy which she has been paying on for years. The facility where she lives is considered independent elderly living, but I was told before I signed the lease that they also qualify as assisted living because of the in-house nursing.  Because Mom is needing more care, I have been initiating the insurance policy. Yesterday, I drove to WF to meet a nurse who interviewed/assessed Mom to see if she qualifies as assisted living. Heck, she can't cook for herself or remember to take her meds - that's assistance right there.

Anyway, it went okay. Mom couldn't tell her what year it was or what day it was. She got the month and season right and was close on the date. She has a big clock that tells her all of that. When she would get frustrated, she would look over at me and say, "My daughter and I don't get along. She is lazy..." or something similar. "She was a daddy's girl" or "I like clothes, but she wears jeans all the time" or "She just lays in bed reading all the time." Sometimes she attacked the interview, "This is a bunch of crap!" I sat through it all quietly. Later the nurse/interviewer told me that her own mother had had dementia and was very similar acting. She felt Mom needed much more help and was very understanding. After she left, I sat with Mom at lunch. When she got extremely mean, I left.

And so I think we need a change of subject. I think I will post some old paintings - maybe some you have never seen. That sounds so much more pleasant. How about a cowboy theme: This one is one of my first watercolor that I sold.  I called it "Tres Amigos"
This one is from a quick gesture painting/warm-up at a workshop.
This one is a pastel on black paper. A technique I wanted to try.
This one is a pastel from a photo I took at a local rodeo.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Yard Work

Last Sunday we worked hard in my yard. By Wed. grass was coming up through the black plastic we had put down and covered with mulch. I was horrified! How could it be?! Then I started looking at the new grass a bit closer. It is nutgrass - probably brought in with the new dirt we put down to level out the yard. It has been making me crazy just thinking about how to get rid of it. On Friday I went by one of the nurseries here in town. The guy I spoke with was very knowledgeable and friendly.  He sold me some weed killer stuff that would kill the nut in the nutgrass. Hopefully. Then after reading up on it, I may be able to dig up some of the grass - at least the part that is in the sidewalk area of my landscaping. Of course, I can't put down my sidewalk until I get rid of the nutgrass. Before I left,  another man at the nursery said, "The only way to get rid of nutgrass is to move." Thanks, buddy.

Toby's mom fell on Friday. He drove to WF to the emergency room and spent most of the day there with her. The good news is that although she is banged up and bruised, she is not broken. We went back to check on her Saturday. She was up and about, but not very spunky.Toby's nephew from Austin was in town and we had lunch with him and his mom. Later we met over at Jesse's house and drank a beer with them. Well, I drank a pear cider. Interesting.

We've been getting lots of rain over the weekend, which is good. Everything is green and growing. The yard needs mowing.  So starts the summer cycle - needing rain, getting rain, mowing grass. It is funny that while at the doctor's with Mom last week, one of the things she said to the doctor (when she was mad at me) was"...and she doesn't even do yard work!"

Friday, April 14, 2017

Pink Cone Flowers

The art ladies came yesterday. We painted in acrylics from a picture I found on the Internet. Everyone's painting was different and fun. The ladies took their paintings home before I got a photo of them all together, but here is mine.
Mine was probably more realistic than the others, which is not necessarily a good thing. The original painting was more expressionistic. My ladies did great. Anyway, it was a fun painting.

On Wed. I took Mom to the doctor for a check-up. She is very healthy. I also took her to lunch and to have her nails done. She was fairly mean to me, but I had a better attitude, so we did okay. I'm getting pretty good at changing the subject and diverting her. Sometimes not. Sometimes it is easier to let her rant. Maybe that is less frustrating for her. Although, I thought we were going to get kicked out of the nail salon. Mom kept telling the pedicurist how to do her toes. The lady did not appreciate Mom's help. Then Mom launched in to how she herself  taught cosmetology, yada, yada, yada. Eventually Mom calmed down and let the lady do her job, and the lady became better with Mom. For a while there, I was for running out the door, but I stuck it out, and did okay.

At the doctor's office it was much the same with Mom telling the doctor why she has sores all over her face. She tells a story of how years ago a bucket of syrup fell out of the cabinet and hit her on the head. From that hit, she says that she has veins that run under her scalp and onto her face, neck, etc. and cause sores that ooze and dandruff and inch thick that she must scratch off. All of that is false and is from her mixed up thinking and dreaming, but there is no telling her any different. The doctor tried telling Mom that the sores would heal and be gone if Mom would just leave them alone. Mom told her that she herself was a cosmetologist and she knew...yada, yada. The doctor told Mom, "Well, I went to Medical school and I'm telling you...." I love this doctor. She is really great with Mom. It is sad there is no fix for the picking. It is just part of the dementia.

Mom's new kick (pun intended) is that she needs new shoes. While we were moving her to a new apartment a few weeks back, my sister asked if she could have some of the millions of shoes that mom has, but does not wear. Mom was so sweet - saying, "Why of course you can have them." Of course, I knew what would happen. Now Mom calls my sister several times a week wanting the shoes back. And now she wants to go shopping for new shoes. I figure I will take her next week so I can hopefully control the spending and keep her from buying high heels that are not appropriate for someone who has balance issues. Yeha.

I hope you don't mind my blogging about my mom. Sometimes it helps me to write these things out. Also, I want to remember things. And I want other people who go through things with their moms to know that they are not alone. I see things on TV shows more and more lately dealing with Alzheimer and dementia. They seem to portray people as sweet, but forgetful and lost. They have famous people on talk shows telling how their parent had/has Alzheimers and how they took care of their parent and all was hard, but peachy-keen. No one wants to talk about the anger and the depression and the difficulty in dealing with the disease. I love my mom, but I want to be up-front and realistic and hopefully helpful concerning my time with her.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Rough Weekend

We celebrated my MIL's 87th birthday on Saturday. Her mind is pretty good, but her body is weak. We ate pizza, cake balls, fruit, and some Greek pastries that Jesse brought. We also had a bit of moscato. It was a good party.

Then Toby and I headed over to see my mom. She was not a happy camper. She looked very bad due to the sores on her face from picking at herself. Her hair stands straight up off her head from her rubbing it and part of it is just rubbed off. None of that is good, but the really bad part is that she is angry and wants to get someone. That someone is usually me. It was rough. But I hung in there changing the subject every time she began to chomp on me. Wednesday she has a doctor's appointment. I also promised to take her to get her nails done. Be praying for me.

Sunday morning I asked Toby to help me with the yard work. I've been wanting to do some landscaping now that the house has stucco. Toby has been busy with his huge garden and his fence building and all his other little projects around the farm. And there are lots of projects. We missed church, but this photo was taken of Mr.T and his friend after church - dancing on the stage.

My family laughs when I say I am going to landscape, because landscape has never been my thang. My mom has always said she was going to come work on my yard. I have friends who have said they wanted to help me with my yard. They all seem to think I cannot landscape on my own. Just because I have not landscaped my house doesn't mean I can't landscape. The thing is the house is just now ready for a yard. Before, the landscaping would have been demolished by the stucco workers. Now I am ready. So, I talked Toby into giving up his projects for my project Sunday morning, and we got lots done. I still have lots to do, but I'm pleased with the results so far. In this photo, you can see the beginnings of my flowerbeds. I plan on lots of other flowers. We will probably use different brick and we are going to put in a sidewalk/pathway. We brought in lots of dirt to level the ground - it could still use some work.

Sunday evening Shay and Lindz came over for dinner. I worked on cleaning the house before they came - not because I was worried about what they would think of my dirty house, but because it was plenty dirty. Toby worked in his garden on an antique planter he bought on Craig'slist. After showering and cleaning up from all the work, we grilled salmon and veggies outside. They were pretty yummy. We had watermelon for dessert. Then we kicked back and visited for a while.

You would think that with all that work I would have slept great, but I was so sore. Today, I'm gonna pamper myself with a pedicure. Tomorrow maybe I will get my hair done.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Super Booboo

It was a busy weekend and got busier as it went.  Saturday we took the day off. Well, I say "off" since we did not go to Wichita Falls. Instead, we did some things around the Lazy B. And there are lots of things that need doing.

First thing out of the gate was to run to town to pick up plumbing supplies when Ace opened.  For once it was not our water that was a problem, but it was us who caused the problem. Sort of. For months we have been working on building fence around the outside of our property. The neighbor has been helpful, sort of, and was going to sling some grass seed out where the county boys had cleared the land for the fence. The neighbor asked Toby to use his big tractor and plow to break up the soil for the seed. And Toby did just that on Friday evening after getting off work. Unfortunately, when the county cleared the land, they scraped off quite a bit of top soil and pushed it into the bar-ditch - leaving the neighbor's water line only a few inches underground. We knew that the county boys had accidentally torn up the neighbor's waterline several months back when they were clearing the fenceline, but we were not really privy to the exacts - being that it was not our waterline. On Friday, Toby plowed up the neighbor's waterline again. He and the neighbor had to call Carl, our local waterline expert and all-around-great-guy, to come help find the shut-off. Then they all worked until late trying to put it back together. It did not go back together - not the right parts. That is what sent Toby and I to town first thing on Saturday for parts. Then we fixed the neighbor's waterline ASAP. We are fairly good at such fixin's.

Next on the Saturday agenda was the yard. While Toby worked on the cleared fenceline, I worked in the yard spreading out the topsoil we had dumped a few weeks back. We were due some rain and storms for Saturday afternoon, so we wanted to get the yard and fenceline as ready as we could. My job of shoveling and raking dirt did me in, but the yard was better. Still not great. One of these days, I will get my flowerbed put in. Sigh.

Sunday after church I rested up for my big assignment. My DIL's father was having surgery in OKC on Monday morning. Of course she wanted to be there with him and her mom. So, I volunteered to watch the grandbabies on Sunday evening, spend the night, and then all day Monday.  It really went pretty well. I did have to referee a bit. And I had to use my teacher voice once. It put the fear in them - as expected. The younger boys are learning or as their dad says, "in training." They need lots of oversight. You can tell by the above photo that they are really pretty sweet. Their parents got home from The City about 8PM. I was worn and wallered.

My DIL's dad did well during the surgery (how's that for some alliteration?).  I got home around 8:30 PM. Today is art with the little girls. I gots lots to do today.