Friday, May 30, 2014

Mom Update

Well, the appointment yesterday was not to remove the melanoma but to discuss the whens and hows of both, yes 2, surgeries.  The first surgery (both outpatient) will be to remove the melanoma and left open until the biopsy returns clean margins.  The second surgery will be to reconstruct the face where it was removed.  Basically, my mom will get a one sided face lift.  Also, she has been warned that the side of her face will be numb for about 6 months.

Please continue to pray for her for that.  I hate that they didn't just remove it yesterday, and both of my parents thought they would remove it right then.  I suspected it was going to be more detailed than that, but since dad believed it too, I didn't challenge.

In other news, the honors assembly was today.  G pulled out all As for the last nine weeks, to both of our surprise.  She was very surprised she did it; even warning me on the way to school that she might have a C.  She didn't get the high AR points, though.  She found out 3 days too late that the AR testing could continue for another week after she believed it over, and she could have pulled it out.  Oh well.

She is currently going through a moody time, on the verge of tears for any perceived little slight.  Hopefully this weekend we can re-connect correctly.  Can't mow the yard as it has rained now for the last 3 days.  Mostly, grocery shopping and laundry with a couple of movies thrown in.  FUN TIMES AHEAD, I tell you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Mama-Update and Other Ramblings

Please pray for clean margins.  Mom got the biopsy report back on a spot taken off of her face.  It is melanoma.  She will have it removed Thursday afternoon in the doctor's office. Please pray that the doctor will get all clean margins and will get all of it out with no other treatments needed.  And a prayer that there will be no need for an MRI.  My mom is terrified of them.

In other news, school is over in less than a week and half.  G will have her honors awards Friday but I think she will only be on the AB honor roll this last nine weeks.  I am still proud but I do attribute some of this to her giving up this last 9 weeks.  And she did, give up I mean.  She was and is just tired of school.

Why they are still doing math sheets and worksheets is lost on me since I think grades had to be in last Friday.  I believe this is called "busy work."  No one at the age of 10 enjoys busy work.

Next week is called "blow-off" week because all stats on the children will be turned in and no longer counted as far as attendance etc.  Friday they are having another field day type day away from the school.  Basically an all day picnic/play time.

In an effort to get G to read books with morally uplifting characters and stories, I have decided to pay her $5 for every book she reads. These books will be chosen by me, will be her reading level or just above and will be a mixture of fiction, non-fiction, biographies, and classics.  The first book came yesterday it is Pearl S. Buck's The Wave.  It isn't very big, and she did start the book last night.  She could have finished it by bed time as well.  True to G form however, she got bored with it, and it happens to be lying in my bedroom floor.  She doesn't like to read.

When I mentioned my idea of paying her for reading books she literally said it was a stupid idea and argued with me about it for 15 mins.  She even told me how she would cheat and get the money without reading the books.

Funny thing about that 15 mins was that I had not actually said I would pay for books.  I had just thrown the idea out there to see if she thought she might be interested in it as a way to earn money.  So when she came around to the idea, she was pretty jazzed about it.

I will not make it about anything other than $5 to read a book and tell me about it.  I will be able to know if she really did read it or not.  The older she gets maybe the price will go up but more will be required like a book report.  I currently have 6 books ready for her to read.  Right now it is a "we shall see" attitude I have.
In other ramblings, nothing much is going on.  Having difficulty getting things approved up the line for work.  I suppose that is to be expected in most places.  Good thing what I need to complete has a movable timeline.

Short week this week for me and next week for G.  VBS starts the week after and at some point my parents will take G to visit her cousin for a while.  Don't know the when or the how long but just know it will be.

Our fish, Bilbo is doing well or at least he is still alive and still very pretty.  That is all in the M corner for now.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Weekend Update

G and I watched all of the Harry Potter movies beginning Friday and ending Monday morning at 12:27 am.  I know the time because I warned G not to wake up at 7 or she wouldn't get enough sleep and she figured out how many hours to the minute it would have been before she fell asleep.  And she woke up Monday morning at 8:30 or so.

Anyway,  we did other things like go to church Sunday morning, clean the house and finish laundry all day Saturday before starting the movies up for the day.  I even got a short nap Friday afternoon after playing Frisbee with G, Monday afternoon and sleeping late on Saturday morning.

It ended up being a sad weekend for our church and particularly for a woman in my Sunday School class.  She lost her husband of 47 years to a devastating disease called Wegener's disease.  This is a disease of unknown origin possibly a latent genetic thing that is triggered by an infection attacking mostly adults in mid to later years.  He was 72.  Last year he had a colonoscopy that ended up puncturing his colon but wasn't discovered for 2 days.  He almost died then.

He never really looked like he fully recovered from that before this disease was discovered already too late.  His lungs had begun pealed on the inside and bled causing pneumonia around Easter.  He was in and out of the hospital due to that and vasculitis (symptom in the disease).  He lost the battle Saturday evening.  Visitation was yesterday and burial was today.  It stormed this morning and I prayed it would stop before the funeral.  I went to visitation with my mom.  His wife was also my 1st grade teacher.  She is as to be expected devastated.  They were a very close couple.  She depended upon him greatly.  There were a lot of people who came to the visitation and I am sure many more for the funeral.  Our church was feeding the family.

I have probably misspelled all of the medical terms because I didn't take the time to look them up, doesn't change the information.

Hug your loved ones a little tighter as we are not promised tomorrow.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Thank A Veteran

On this Memorial Day, particularly at this point of time with the whole VA scandal, it is imperative that we acknowledge and support our soldiers who are asked on a daily basis to keep us free from foreign and domestic enemies.
To those who have given their all and to the families and friends affected, I am in your debt. Thank you to all the reservists, active and retired military personnel and their families for continuing to keep the US safe and free!

 Remember: Freedom is not free.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bilbo Rex Tacker-UPDATE

Well, he isn't eating or at least not that we can tell.  His water has been changed from the distilled stuff and also has a bit of the conditioner it in.  Looked good this morning, though.  Also, he isn't hiding as much in the tree.

I purchased some new pellet food because apparently the betta flakes aren't food, just a snack, who knew. G wants another betta, not to replace, just to have.  I told her to clean out the fish bowl we have and she can have one.  It just can't sit on the same table.  Not a problem, she is taking care of Bilbo well.

We haven't any plans other than laundry this weekend.  G mowed the yard Monday night and it still looks good.  I haven't looked at the weekend weather so I haven't any idea of rain or heat or anything.

I am looking at an on-line school for G beginning next year.  Several things must align in order to do so. Mainly the money has to be there and willingness from my parents to allow G to do the work at their house. And I guess really that is the biggest thing, her care during the day.  I ordered a DVD that hopefully will explain to my parents why I need to get G out of public schools, because of Common Core, and into a classical education.

Of course I will have to be so much more intentional on socializing her and exposing her to more outside stuff on weekends because of work during the week.  I can't ask my parents to take that over though I might can pay someone currently homeschooling to take G along on outings.  I am not sure how this will look for us.   Just praying about it all right now.  On-line is still much cheaper than private and so much healthier than common core.

Monday, May 19, 2014

We Have a New Pet

And we have managed to keep him alive since Saturday.  That has looked a bit shaky since yesterday afternoon, however.  The more I research the more I have learned we have totally listened and followed poor advice.  We added distilled water to the brand new starter tank.  We attempted to feed him Sunday and he didn't eat.  G has had her hands all in the tank to pet him, and now the water is cloudy. YEA! 

He is a crowntail betta.  He is really pretty and his name is Bilbo Rex Tacker.
The name was chosen because all three of the names made G's short list, and we couldn't decide.  Bilbo is from the Hobbit, Rex means king, and Tacker was my grandmother's maiden name.  The picture isn't very good because his colors are a brilliant red and blue with spots of white.  Mostly he is blue.  There was a greenish one but he didn't seem to have very full fins like this one.  G said she initially didn't want a betta because she thought they were ugly brown fish.  When I showed the vast selection at the pet shop she grew very excited then had trouble making a decision.  They really are beautiful fish.

So I was going to get a live plant for him but after reading forums, that is not recommended.  Silk plants are so maybe later.  He likes his plastic one and hides behind it away from G's fingers.  G has been so very excited though.  If well cared for they can live anywhere from 3-7 years.  Our set up is probably going to top out on the 3 year side.

Oh and it rained Friday night, Saturday night and early Sunday morning so I didn't get to mow.  The yard is going to be terrible when I am able to do it.  Instead of mowing, G and I picked my mom up who called us just before going out to do our errands and ended up getting a fish and having lunch out, just the three of us. Dad was working in his garage which was why my mom called.  She is in a stage of being very lonely.  Soon enough she will be lonely but not wanting to run and gun everywhere.  I will take the time to take her with as long as she is willing to go.

The AR cut off was last Friday even though they still have 3 more weeks of school so G didn't make her reading challenge.  She will have to re-read this book and read the last book in the Harry Potter series beginning next year to test for AR.  So since she can't test on it anyway we finished watching the movies. Now when she reads she will need to be very mindful of the differences, and there are many!

Other than not getting the yard mowed, the weekend was a semi-success.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Cucumbers and Other Ramblings

So G has a violent ly funny reaction to the smell of cucumbers. I have been adding them to my salad for lunch.  She is not allergic to them and has only recently decided that she detests them so badly.  One morning earlier this week as she was putting her plate in the dishwasher did this weird dance while declaring the stinky-ness of the cucumber peals I had just left in the sink.  I asked her if she was having a fit and she said yes because of the cucumber smell.

So I, being the loving mother I am, yesterday morning took my cucumber to her while she sat trying to wake up and held it, waving it around her head while singing a dumb made up song about the wonderful cucumber so she couldn't help but smell it, heh.  Not for long so no bad comments.  Like I said, she isn't allergic to them and she loves sweet pickles which I think belong in tuna salad, finely chopped, go figure.

Also, she, in her mother's day poem book, labelled me the color green, like a pickle if I were a color.  So, you know,  my cucumber "dance" was all just pay back.

No big plans this weekend.  It has rained off and on since like Tuesday with a drastic attempt at the return to winter (I had to turn on my space heater in the bedroom even) in the weather so mowing has just not happened.  Saturday, G will give it another go starting in the front yard, breaking it into smaller bits.  I have warned her there will be no payday if she doesn't mow the whole yard herself; no backing out half way because she's tired.

Other than that, hanging out trying to not spend money after having my air compressor in the car need to be changed, and that after having the lower hose replaced the week before, $$$OUCH$$$.  But we will drive cool in the southern temps.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy (Belated) Mother's Day

I unplugged so to speak from most things.  Saturday was a good day.  G and Granddad washed my car.  Now I owe her the well deserved payment.  It looked really good until some birds flew over in an open parking lot Sunday.  The inside was even cleaned/vacuumed!!  Then, of course, G threw her empty candy wrapper in the floor instead of in the convenient garbage bag I have hanging on the back of the seat.

I must tell all of my mom friends, "YOU HAVE TO GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!"  It is called Mom's Night Out.  It is funny, clean, thoughtful, entertaining and a sweet break from the junk Hollywood tries to force down our throats on a daily basis.  From the opening credits through the ending credits, my mom and I cried and laughed as did quite a few others in the theater.  And the trailer doesn't show all of the funny parts, like some movies do.  This movie is really a great movie for families, yes the children will enjoy it too.  As a mom though on a date night with hubby or with your own mom or mom friends it is a fun shared experience.

Mom and I then went to Panera Bread Company for lunch.  It was so very good.  Always is.  Mom and I could talk undistracted.  At one point mom was going to ask the doctor if she could drive but something happened Friday night to show her that her mind is deteriorating more rapidly than we would like, obviously, and so she is content with not driving.  Well, content is not really the feeling more like resigned acceptance.

Also, I asked mom if she thought dad was considering a move into town.  Currently and for the last 43 years, they have lived 7 miles north of small town.  When mom broke her hip it obviously took a bit for the ambulance to arrive.  They aren't getting younger and mom is not going to be able to stay by her self as the disease progresses.  They live on 2 1/2 acres of land too that usually takes about 4-6 hours of mowing time.  Dad keeps a garden or two due to tomato blight.  The trees are aging like the people who live there and after this winter, there were lots of damaged trees with which to deal.

Anyway, when I asked her about considering a move closer to town, she did not get defensive, and she said my dad had taken her to see some homes.  I mentioned to her that now would be the ideal time to jump because as her disease progresses, change will be very difficult.  She agreed that if it were to happen it would need to be now.

She said that although she won't encourage dad to move, she won't put up a great fight about it.  She is attached to the house.  It will be very hard to see them move for all of us.  My dad is very practical though and doesn't let the emotion make the decisions unlike me or my mom, heh.  They need a smaller newer house, smaller yard big enough for a garden, and closer to town.  

I just heard also that the neighborhood hospital, though not a national treasure, but still local, may be closing due to o'care.  Next closest hospitals are out of state 40 mins or so away and in state over an hour away from where we are now.  Plus getting to the out of state hospitals will require going through interstate construction which slows down the ability to get help quickly.  I am praying we don't lose our hospital. They have an awesome rehab facility that was instrumental to my mom healing from her hip, but not just my mom. Other people have been greatly helped by this facility, and I think it would be devastating to this area to lose it particularly to those folks on medicare and medicaid.  AR medicaid doesn't pay well and has so many strange requirements that doctors and hospitals very rarely get paid.

Anyway, all that to say, my parents would benefit from moving closer particularly if the hospital closes.  And my prayer is that if they chose to do so, their current house will sell for enough to let them purchase outright and with money to put in the bank for future use.  Hopefully mother won't have to be on any purchase or contract for the time when she may be in a nursing home.  We don't want medicare to take anything from my dad if she is forced to go to a nursing home.  Of course, I pray that never happens.  If they were closer we may be able to stave off that moment too.

So now another week begins.  I seem to start every week in a sleep deficit despite my nap on Sunday.  G has set herself a very difficult task of reading the #6 Harry Potter book in 2 weeks to test on it for the end of the school year in AR.  She needs to read 3 chapters a day or something around 50+ pages.  She can do it if she really tries.  She has a tendency like all kids to procrastinate or maybe just not understand how time works.  So she didn't read much this weekend which is a problem if she expects to meet her goal.  If she doesn't succeed I would have rather her wait to start the book the month before school starts next year.  Otherwise remembering the book over the summer will be hard.  They cut AR off early when the kids really could continue to read at least another week.

Anyway, here is to another week in M land and a Happy Belated Mother's Day.

Friday, May 09, 2014

This Weekend

I mentioned to my mother that I wanted to take her to lunch and a movie on Saturday.  Then I heard my daughter say, "I like movies."

I looked at her and agreed that movies are good.  I told my mom about where I wanted to take her and my daughter piped up, "I like that restaurant."

I looked at her, with dawning realization, and said, "Good for you.  You are not going.  You will be staying here with Grandaddy and I will pay you $10 to wash and clean our car.  We will take Grammie's car out." She didn't like her options, needless to say.

She has been punishing me all week for it.  The movie wouldn't interest her I don't believe.  I think she would make the whole thing about her or at least ruin it for me. After seeing this I most definitely wish this to be just me and my mom while she has some of her memory and ability.

So on this weekend hug your mum.  Celebrate her or her memories with your family close.

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 05, 2014

The Weekend

Friday I took the day off from work, so grateful to have time to take with pay.  It was my dad's birthday, G was at school, and I grabbed my mom to run errands with me.  At the bank I dropped my driver's license under the car, had to back up to retrieve it.  Frustrating but oh so like clumsy me.

Mom and I picked up work gloves for dad's birthday per his own comment of always needing work gloves.  At the grocery store, we grabbed two bags (on sale) pistachios to add to the gift.

Anyway, Dad had to buy a new dishwasher so while mom and I were out he was getting the dishwasher.  Mom doesn't like to be left alone so I stayed with her until he got back then I ran home and finished packing and laundry.  It took him all day and one injury to get the dishwasher installed but it works great now.

I grabbed G and her friend after school and got them a snack, then we hit the road.  For G's birthday I took her to see the Blanchard Springs Caverns with a friend of hers.  This was the present she wanted, a trip.  The girls mostly played Minecraft on the motel's wifi together.  They laughed and giggled and went to sleep at 12:01am.  I went to bed much earlier though I mostly dozed until they were asleep.

We stayed the night in Mountain View then Saturday afternoon went into the caverns for an hour tour.  We saw one bat fly by which was odd since technically they were all supposed to be hibernating.  Even the park ranger told us all we would not see a bat because they were together hibernating.  His back was turned when it flew by.

Saturday  morning after breakfast at pizza inn we headed to the McSpaddin Dulcimer Shoppe and to the Ozark Community something or other that was a 100+ year retro village of shops demonstrating the old ways of doing things like silver smith, black smith, wood turning, lye soap making, on and on.  It was nice.  We had lunch at the village before moving on to the caves.  Lunch was not retro, just burger, hotdog, chicken tenders and fries with sodas.

The weather was great or hot, and I discovered that my car doesn't like to cool down much in hot weather.  We will be miserable this summer looks like.  Temps rose to almost 90 Saturday.

I miscalculated the return time Saturday night getting home much later than the original plan.  Leave that to me as always.  We only had to stop once on the way for gas and bathroom.  It still took almost 3 hours home.  I used my dad's GPS which probably helped me get home 15 mins sooner than the printed map taking me Hwy 14 only.

I think the girls were duly impressed with the caves.  I got a wee bit dizzy when I first entered.  I was actually more afraid that one of the girls would freak out on me, but then it was I who had to do the whole internal self talk to remain cool and collected, heh.

In Mountain View, G learned a new skill:
It may come in handy if our washer ever breaks.  She also made a very good smelling sachet with a mix of lavender, rosemary, cedar and somethings I can't remember.  The lavender is the strongest scent.

I have no photos of the caves as there is a fungus attacking bats called White Nose Syndrome.  Basically, in an effort to control the spread of it, if you can't wash something, it can't come with you into the caves so no cameras. The shoes even had to be disinfected before we were allowed to leave the building.  The feds acknowledge that it really won't stop it but only slow it down a bit.  The fungus started in the bats in the NE and it is moving slowly west.  Since I knew about the camera ban, I only had my cell which also stayed in the car and all the pictures I took of the girls were with  my cell.

Sunday after church we celebrated dad's birthday and let him open his not much of a surprise birthday gift.  I also got my Sunday nap.  Then G and I attended our Bible study.  No, she doesn't participate as it technically is for grown ups but I know it will one day be a benefit that she was there for the majority of it with me.  

Now back to the grind of work and school.  Still very grateful to have a job!!