Sunday, August 3, 2014

Countdown to Halloween 2014

Not that I'm counting. It's hard not to notice since the stores are beginning to put out Halloween decorations, though. So far I've seen spooky stuff in Gordman's, Holiday Magic at Crown Center, Nebraska Furniture Mart, and Cracker Barrel. That's right. The home cooking restaurant with the rocking chairs out front has Halloween decor.

There was a lot of cool stuff that I'd love to add to my collection. These pillows at NFM were fun.

Of course my love of words drew me to all of these at Gordman's.

I actually got my Halloween mask at Cracker Barrel. I can't give it away, but they had a lot of other great stuff I can share with you.

I could probably max out my NFM card just on Halloween goodies.

I didn't, of course, but I did come home with a few new items. The skull and the two pictures light up!

I would have bought this, but the sentiment didn't seem very sincere, coming from me. I actually hate candy corn, so it wouldn't be a stretch to love anybody more than that sickeningly sweet, chewy material.

I can't wait to see what else I find in the coming weeks!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Daddy

It's been three weeks today since Dad died. I must say, it's been easier than I thought it would be to work through my grief. I miss him, of course, but his essence was already gone the last few months of his life. I started missing him while he was still alive.

I was shown so much kindness during Dad's illness and passing that I could never express my gratitude fully. The best I can do is share my daddy with you, the way he was before he got sick. I was thinking of speaking at his funeral, but decided against it. Here are the words I wrote about him. I hope it shows you what a wonderful person he was and how much he meant to me.

First, I’d like to thank all of you for being here. Your support, love, and sympathy have meant so much to us; not just since Dad’s passing, but in the months preceding his death as well.

My Dad was the smartest person I know. He taught me a lot of different things: He taught me how to read, he taught me how to train a dog, and he taught me how to drive a car. But the most important thing he taught me was to appreciate knowledge.

Dad dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and went on to get his GED, but that had nothing to do with how smart he was. What made him smart was his love of learning. He asked questions. If he knew a person had a job or a hobby that he didn’t know much about, he would pick their brain. The restaurant and the barber shop afforded him the luxury of meeting many people from different walks of life and he truly wanted to know what they knew.

A few years ago I was feeling badly because I wasn’t using my degree. He told me that I shouldn’t feel bad because education was never wasted. He also told me once that I should try to learn something new every day. Now, there have been some days when I learned something new early in the day and thought “Okay, I’m done. I can go back to bed.”

The most important thing he told me was that I should try to leave the world in better shape than when I came into it. I have taken that to heart. Dad certainly accomplished that and I hope that since he passed on his love of learning to me, that I will be able to do the same.

Friday, April 4, 2014

I'm Ready to Get Off This Ride

Today has been such a roller coaster of emotions. Depression, anger, sadness, guilt.

Taking care of Dad has been harder than I thought it would be. It has triggered some anxiety (which had been under control) and has made me doubt myself as a caretaker.

My depression has eased up for the most part since after Christmas, but today it came roaring back. I feel like I can't do this, can't care for Dad day after day and keep up with all that is needed. I even felt like I didn't want to do it anymore. Why did this have to happen? The unfairness of it all had me wanting to run away. I was already feeling guilty about stuff I didn't get done for work; how could I do it all?

Then the sadness started. It washed over me. I want to pursue my dreams, but I can't. There isn't time or resources. Why couldn't I go back in time to when it was just me and Sebastian living alone? The tears fell.

Then Dad called out, "Can anybody hear me? I have to go to the bathroom." My heart sank. How could I consider not doing this job? My Daddy needs me. It breaks my heart knowing he is living like this. He doesn't deserve it. That's the part that is really unfair. I felt guilty for my earlier selfishness.

I hate the way life is going right now. I know it will get better some day, but I wish it was better now.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Dad Update

It's been a pretty crappy 2 weeks since Dad was released from ICU. He hasn't been feeling well at all. Today we went to see his doctor at geriatrics.

After going over all of his meds, she decided to switch some things around. Stopping some, adding others.

We also talked at length about his diet and appetite. Dad hasn't been eating much at all since he came home. She told us we needed to change the way Dad eats. No more Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner. He needs to eat about 5 times a day and even though he will only eat a little at a time, it has to be purposeful. He needs to focus on protein. She gave me tons of good ideas for snack size foods that are high protein or can be made that way by adding Boost to them.

We also discussed Hospice. I've been worried that I'm jumping the gun by talking about it. She reassured me that it wasn't too early. She said most people wait too long to bring in Hospice, sometimes until the last week or so of a patient's life. She said that although death isn't imminent with Dad, he is showing a negative trend in many aspects. She explained that Hospice would be good support for me and that some even offered Chaplain services. Mom & Dad haven't been to church in months; having someone come in and offer ministry would be wonderful.

We will go back in 2 weeks for a follow up. They drew blood today, so we'll see what that shows us. We're also tracking Dad's weight. She wants him to gain a pound a week.

I feel so relieved after today's visit. I feel much more in control of the situation and I like knowing there are goals for us to work toward with Dad's health.

Please keep the prayers coming. Dad isn't scared of dying, but he doesn't want to suffer. I pray for his comfort and for clarity & courage for myself.

I know I need to take care of myself and really am trying. I've told people to do the same, but never realized how hard it can be to actually do. My mind is consumed with thoughts of what needs to be done and what might happen. I'm doing the best I can to try to relax when I have time, but it's easier said than done.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My KCversary

Five years ago today, I moved to Kansas City to start my new life. I remember when everybody left after helping me move and I was all alone in my new apartment. It was such an overwhelming mix of feelings. I was excited and scared. I was sad that I had to leave my family, my fiance, and my cat. I was thrilled to have a place all of my own.

Here I am, 5 years later and so much has changed. I lost that first apartment that was all mine to a fire. After spending a year in another apartment, I now own my own home. I'm now married to that fiance I left behind and my parents are living with me. The only thing I don't have back is my kitty who passed away 4 years ago.

I've stopped wondering how I got the job that moved me to KC. I've become a senior volunteer at Wayside Waifs. I've made wonderful friends I would never have met if I hadn't made the scary change.

Everything was so new and different 5 years ago. I've now fallen in love with Kansas City and consider it home. I can't wait to see what the next 5 years here will bring.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cleaning Out My Purse

I decided to downsize my purse. For years, I have carried a large purse. I try to find ones that have lots of pockets to tuck different things into. I usually take a lot of crap from people, but if there's something I need, I can probably find it in my bag!

Lately, I have been leaving my purse at home. I guess I've found it to be a pain to carry around. Because of this, I decided that I didn't really need all that stuff I've been toting with me. I figured that meant I could get away with carrying something smaller.

While I was cleaning out my super-cute, if not oversized, leopard print bag, I found all kinds of goodies that I keep "just in case" I need them, but really never do. Here is a small sampling of those items:

  • Rewards cards from many stores/restaurants along with their miniature keychain twins. I did away with the full sized cards and just kept the minis.
  • Ten writing instruments. I decided to keep two in my new purse. You never know when one will die.
  • Confetti from two different Aerosmith concerts.
  • Guitar pick from a Cheap Trick concert.
  • Two fortunes from Chinese fortune cookies.
  • A sleeve of Ritz crackers. Mostly crumbs now.
  • Dental floss AND plastic toothpicks.
  • Three dollars in Bahamian money.
  • The security code from when Lee's youngest brother was in ICU about 7 years ago.
  • My social security card. I've been wondering where it was!
  • An appointment card for Sebastian to visit the vet from 3 years ago.
  • A bottle of hand sanitizer that was completely evaporated.
  • A hotel room key.
Needless to say, I think I'll be okay not having those items in my new, smaller, sleeker bag. Which has leopard print on the inside.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Word for 2014 is...

This will be my reminder to trust myself: my intuition, my abilities, and my soul.