Sunday, March 31, 2013

April is almost here.....

It is hard to believe but almost time
To take on another challenge
To stir up my mind.
I like all this writing
It keeps me alive
I get to dwell on the memories
And not focus on life.
I will start tomorrow with the letter A
and keep on writing about places
we have been and people top whom we said 'hey'
So come back and read and try to believe
If I really went someplace that starts with a Z. 

(okay, okay so I am not a poet!)
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I am a Super Hero!

Ha! Ha! I don't know if this is really how I feel that my self portrait would look. But I do sometimes feel like a super hero when it comes to taking care of everyone's needs. That is mostly what I am all about. There will be plenty of time for ME when this is all over. And for now I just carry on.

This challenge was fun! It gave me a prompt to write about each day. And they were really good prompts also. I think that Tiffany did an excellent job and kudos to all of us who made it.

I am moving on to an April blogging challenge now. I have made my A to Z challenge to be the theme of 
"places I have visited." It is fun remembering and I have been wanting to document some of these places on my blog for sometime now. So I hope you come back and visit me again.

Thanks Tiffany!

I am proud to say that I completed all 31 days of this challenge!

Happy Easter 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Our Hospice Journey/Eating Kleenex??

You know this morning I woke up thinking about my mom when she was on Hospice. We did it TWICE with her. We used to joke that hospice took such good care of her that she graduated from it the first time around. My mom was somewhat a crotchety old woman and we put her into hospice care while she was in the nursing home. They spent extra time with her one on one and she blossomed. It was a neat thing to see.

Richard has unfortunately caught my cold. He is obsessed with kleenex right now. And coughing. And coughing and coughing. I am giving breathing treatments and trying to keep him hydrated to liquefy all the phlegm.  He doesn't look well today. Our youngest son spent the night last night and I caught a few hours sleep in my own bed. Oh how I miss that. But it is hard to sleep soundly knowing that he is probably asking, 'where is your mother?' a thousand times. I am so thankful that we have such a wonderful son who can put up with the coughing, snorting, eating kleenex, and even helping him up to commode and changing his brief. That is one awesome son.

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I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream

Tomorrow will be the last day of the 31 day blog challenge. I am  happy to report that I was here for everyday of it. I also picked up a few new friends that I still hope to follow. It has been fun and I loved the blogging prompts that were provided for us by the Fabulous Tiffany. I hope she does this again and I can follow along. 

A vanilla ice cream cone
A vanilla ice cream cone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am simple.
I like simple things.
Vanilla ice cream is my favorite.
If I want to change it up then I will add something.
Hot Fudge
But mainly, I eat it plain.
I am simple.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Hospice Journey/A Social Worker Visit

Today we were paid a visit by the Social Worker, Tish. She came for a brief visit just to meet us. Richard slept most of the time that she was here. She talked with Darian and Harley and asked them their feelings about Papa and did they have any concerns they wanted to ask her about. Any fears they wanted to share
I was surpsied to hear what it is they are thinking about. Darian is concerned that Papa might be uncomfortable and might be in pain. She talked with him about how we can recognize the signs of pain and what we will be able to do about that when the time comes. Harley stated that her concern is she won't be here to tell Papa good-bye. I am happy that the kids are talking about it.
After she left, Papa woke up and said he doesn't know how he feels about all of these people coming and going from our house. I guess he was listening!

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Our Hospice Journey/THe Journey Begins

We have started our hospice journey. After going with Richard to the doctor on Tuesday, she agreed with me that it is time to ask for hospice involvement. She made the call for me and on Wednesday we met with two of the hospice nurses here in our home. Our hospice is called Harden Hospice. Keith, a hospice nurse, came first and he sat with us and told us what hospice is about and what to expect . He started us on the reams of paperwork. Why does there always have to be so much paper work? Hospice is a benefit to us provided by Medicare, so it will not cost us anything. That was the best news ever. I am always obsessing about the cost of something.
Then came Janie, the nurse who did the history and physical. I know Janie from another jobI had. I saw her go through all the steps to become the RN she is now. She is very young. Only 22. But she is so kind and caring. I remember at the nursing home, where we both worked, how much she loved the residents. She visited with Richard about his illness and asked me what we needed equipment wise. I am so happy that we will have Janie helping us.
On Thursday, Janie returned to see how we were doing. Oxygen was delivered to the house. Richard doesn't need oxygen yet, but we are being proactive and it will be here if we need it. She is trying to get me a lift so that when he quits bearing weight (and he almost has) we can still transfer him from chair to chair or wherever we need to move him. On Monday they will deliver the remainder of supplies, ie: briefs, wipes, Emergency meds , and whatever else Janie can think of that will make our lives easier. (she estimated that Hospice can save the family almost $1000 in incontinent supplies in a 6 month period of time). I know that they are very expensive, as I have been buying them for a few months now.
We also were visited by the Hospice chaplain on Thursday afternoon. He is a retired minister from the Chicago area and moved to Hutchinson two years ago. He talked a bit about dying and then prayed with us. Richard very much enjoyed his visit.
I don't know how I feel at this point. It is starting to feel we are 'really' in the final stages. I want to document our journey.
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My Favorite Time of the Year

I am a summer loving girl!

I love the sunshine.

I love the heat.

I love being outdoors.

I love feeling warm.

I am a summer loving girl!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Guilty Pleasure is..........

As you can see here, my guilty pleasure is that I am a reality TV show junkie.
Yep I have watched every episode of Survivor. And there have been years that I wonder why I continue.
I LOVE Big Brother. I HATE Big Brother.
Need I say more?
The Amazing Race, to me, is Amazing. I would love to try this out with my grand daughter.
The canceled reality TV shows, Rock of Love and Family Jewels were a hoot.
But I loved peeking into the shows about these aging rock stars.
So there you have it.
My guilty pleasures!

Now I can hardly wait to see what the others are fessing up to as to what their guilty pleasures are.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I have a Question??

I hope that I have enough people reading this little old blog of mine that I can ask a question and maybe receive a reply. I have joined the A to Z Blogging Challenge but I am starting to have second thoughts about it. I want to write about places that I have been and I want to use pictures. But a lot of my pictures are packed away and It would be an awesome feat to get them all out. Recently I was reading a blog where the blogger had been sued for using a picture on her blog that was not hers. I have done that like a jillon times. I loved Google Image and I just right click, save to my computer, and then copy to a post. But now I am finding out that maybe I should not be doing this. Here is my question: What do you guys think? 

  • Should I try to locate the owner of all the pictures I have used on my blog and get permissions?
  • Should I take all the pictures off?
  • Should I make posts without pictures?
  • Should I just forget about blogging challenges?

I don't know what to do. I don't want to get sued. And I don't want to pay for pictures. I like the way posts look with a picture. Why would anyone have a problem with me using their picture if I don't make money off my blog. If I just blog cause I like to detail things and I like to add pictures.

Help me please!

I love my Computer Friends

This is how I feel. I don't know where I would be right now if it weren't for my computer. After my husband had his stroke, about 18 months ago, we moved the computer out of the office and into the living room so that I could be in the same room with him all the time and still spend time doing what I like. Which is be on the computer, seeing what my on-line friends are up to. I have made some good friends online. I suppose that we all have. I have not met any of them. But we stay in touch. We have sent Christmas cards and sometimes we have called each other. But mostly we communicate through blogs, Facebook or emails. I have three that come to mind that I would like to someday meet in real person. But even if I never meet them I will still feel that they are real friends.

My friend Irene who lives in Weyburn (Saskatchewan), Canada is one of those online friends that comes to mind. We have a bit in common with grown kids and grand kids  And she works in LTC in an Alzheimer's unit. I stay in touch with Irene mostly through Facebook. Someday I would love to meet up with her in Mexico when she goes on her yearly vacation with her family. That would be so cool.

Another on-line friend Ruth (Harley) who lives in Pennsylvania. I met Harley on an online grannies group many years ago when MSN had groups. What drew me to her was the name Harley. That is my grand daughter's name and I had never known another person with that name. For Ruth it is just a nickname but I was drawn to her. We have a lot in common also. Grown kids and grand kids. Her husband was a nursing home administrator at the time. And I worked in a nursing home. We have exchanged Christmas cards and gifts and now we stay in touch through emails and Facebook. I would love to meet Harley and Woody.

Another on-line friend that I met in the same grannies group is Joyce. She lives in Saginaw, Michigan. She spent many years taking care of an adult daughter who had a chronic illness. She cared for her right up until her daughter's death a couple of years ago. Joyce and I have that in common. I wished we lived closer. We would have a lot to share with each other. She has been a rock to me at times.

Don't you feel like the people that you meet over and over again online are your real friends? I have lots others that I would love to meet. Maybe someday! Who would you like to meet?

Let's go to Tiffany's and see who others are talking about.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Today We decided

Today I took Richard to the doctor. It was an ordeal to get him there. He is SO weak.  We had to see the doctor. We didn't have a choice. You see, in January of this year we got a letter in the mail stating that his long-time doctor had to suddenly retire to take care of some of his own health issues. That left us with no one. So I made an appointment for Richard. And had to cancel it due to the weather. I wondered if he would make it to see a new doctor. The doctors were unaware of how bad he had gotten. They didn't know that he was refusing to eat or take any medications. They didn't know about the episodes before Christmas when he would briefly lose consciousness. They did not know about last Tuesday when he stopped breathing. I was not sure he would live long enough to see a new doctor. But today we went.

His new doctor is very young. She is very nice. And she, too, agrees that it is time for Hospice. So we will be having the Hospice come to evaluate him and see how they can help us. His doctor stopped all of his medications. He wasn't taking them anyway. She said just to allow him to decide when and what to eat. We have been doing that anyway. He has lost 35 pounds since he last saw the doctor. I knew that he was losing, but I was surprised as to how much. He hardly eats anything. He still is taking fluids well. Well, as well as can be expected.  The doctor talked with him about his wishes. She asked him if Hospice is what he wants to do. He told her he just wants to stay home. He wants to be comfortable. He wants me to quit bugging him about eating. Love that man! He still has his humor. 

So we will wait for Hospice to come. Tonight he asked for a BLT. I couldn't believe it. He hasn't wanted to eat anything. So I went to the store and bought things for a BLT. He ate 1/4 of a sandwich, a few chips, and a dill pickle. We were thrilled. He looks good tonight. His cheeks are pink. I am hoping it is not the calm before the storm. But we will be ready. He will never leave our hearts. He will always be with us. ALWAYS.


My most favorite thing to eat....ever!

I like to eat. And there are lots of things that I love to eat. I love lobster. I like steak. I love salads. I like hamburgers. I love cakes, cookies, ice creams, and all the sweets that most people love.

But when it comes to my favorite thing to eat those who know me best know that it is potato chips dipped in sour cream. Or vegetables sticks dipped in sour cream. Or sour cream on a baked potato.  Or sour cream dollops on top of chili, tacos, enchiladas or anything for that matter.

I love sour cream. I can eat sour cream with a spoon, standing in front of an open refrigerator.

Hey, don't judge me!

Go here to see what others are talking about today.

Monday, March 25, 2013

What's Your 10-20?

I live in Kansas.
Hutchinson, Kansas
We are in Reno County.
Hutchinson is also known as the "Salt City" because we are home to the Carey Salt Mines.
We are also home to the Kansas State Fair.
We are about 39 miles northwest of Wichita, Kansas.
We have about 43,000 people living in Hutchinson.
Not a big city, but certainly not a little town.
I have lived in this town since 1967 so it is my hometown.
We have a community college here and are home to the
National Junior College Athletic Association Basketball Tournament
which brings thousands of people from all over the U.S. to our city every March.
In the Underground Salt Mines many of the artifacts from Hollywood are stored along with film copies of most of the big films of our time.
If you know of the Dillon's Grocery Stores
owned by Krogers'
then you know they originated in Hutchinson, Kansas.
We are mostly a rural community.
An elderly community.
If you find yourself in Hutchinson, Kansas, 
Come visit me!

What's your 10-20? I will be heading here to find out.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Taco Tater Tot Bake

First of all, this is NOT a cooking blog. I like to cook and until Richard had his stroke in November 2011 I really didn't do that much cooking. He fixed most of the meals for the kids, while I worked. But since I am now staying home full-time I like to be able to find recipes online and give them a try. That is what today's post is about. A recipe that I found on Facebook and I whipped it up for our dinner this evening. And it was a hit.

Taco Tater Tot Bake

1lb ground beef
1 small onion (diced)
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 small can black olives (sliced)
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen corn
1 (4 ounce) can green chilies (diced and drained)
1 (12 ounce) can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 (16 ounce) bag shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 (16 ounce) package frozen tater tots
1 (10.5 ounce fluid ounce) can enchilada sauce

Cooking instructions:
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Add ground beef, garlic, and onion and cook while breaking the meat apart with a spoon or spatula until the ground beef is completely browned. Drain off any excess fat. Add taco seasoning mix, green chilies, frozen corn, and black beans to the ground beef. Cook until heated through.

Step 2: In a large bowl combine ground beef mixture, ¾ of the Mexican cheese blend, and all of the tater tots. Stir well to combine.
Step 3: Pour about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Add the tater tot mixture to the baking dish and lightly pat the mixture down into a solid, even layer. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tater tots.

Step 4: Place into the oven and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. During the last few minutes of baking, top the casserole with the remaining Mexican cheese blend and the sliced black olives. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

(Makes 6 Servings)

I did not have any green chilies on hand, so I used a small can of Rotel tomatoes with chilies and I substituted salsa for the enchilada sauce. This was a huge hit with my family; even Papa who has not been eating much lately. We served it with sour cream and extra salsa. Plenty leftover for lunch tomorrow. Hope you give it a try. Let me know what you think.

I am linking up with

Was My Face Ever Red!

When I was in nursing school and during my psychiatric rotation, we would meet after our clinical was over to have what we called a 'post-conference.' In the room would be our instructor, the psychologist, the head nurse from the psych unit and the students. This is where we discussed our patients and asked questions of those who were teaching us.

There was a psychologist at the hospital at that time who's name was Dr. Didlo. He was a nice enough guy. As far as psychologist's go! But, when I was away from the hospital I usually referred to him by another name. Just because I thought it was funny. You can look at his name and use your imagination here. I dare not repeat it.

One particular post conference, Dr. Didlo (I even have to be careful typing it) was the psychologist present. We discussed several things and then it was time for the students to ask questions. I raised my hand and he acknowledged me. I started out by saying "Dr. Dil**...and stopped mid sentence  He looked me right in the eye, never changed his facial expression, and told me to continue. To say the very least this is my MOST embarrassing moment ever. Even now, 25 years later, I can still not believe that I called him that.

If you are wondering what other's most embarrassing moments are, then go here.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Harley's Prairie Hills Spring Fling Music Production

Harley out front before we left for her music production 
She tried out for the solo "Survivor" but after two
call backs lost out to another girl.

Please forgive the lack of professionalism to this video. It is my first one
I will get better as I practice. 

My Easter Mantle

The kids and I finished decorating the mantle for Easter!

What used to be my Hobby

One of the recent prompts on the 31 Day Blogging Challenge was 'what do you collect?" You can read all about that here. Today we are talking about hobbies. Yes, I used to collect dolls. That used to be my hobby. What happened with the doll collecting?
  • Well, in the first place, other people started helping mewith my doll collection. Not that that is a bad thing. But I had certain dolls that I liked collecting. I was partial to 'boy' dolls and baby dolls. Not teddy bears, or bunnies, or Barbies. But people (and some of those were people who loved me) would bring me a doll they had found somewhere that they were just sure that I would love. Now what am I supposed to do about that? I found a spot for them among my collections. And maybe was a bit resentful. Just a bit.
  •  The second thing that happened with doll collecting was that the market exploded with collectible dolls. I am sure that you have seen all the dolls out there. All the dolls in magazines. Probably even have gotten an advertisement or two in the mail for this collectible doll or that one. With so many dolls being produced 'mass market' style, dolls just aren't that collectible any longer.
  • Collecting dolls is expensive. I can't put out that kind of money anymore. And I want quality. So that is a biggy for me. I loved the doll auctions to find the old dolls of the 1950's (the kind that girls from my generation played with) but these dolls were starting to go for upwards of $300.00 and that would not even be in mint condition. Crazy!
  • Dusting and cleaning and keeping up with them. This just became too much with all the other things going on around here. So no more doll collecting. Now I am trying to liquidate my collection. And that is not easy. I am just not willing to let them go for peanuts. So I might have them around for awhile. Hopefully by the time my grand kids need to put me in a nursing home they will be worth something.

    New Hobbies....probably not right now. I do like to read. I still like my gardening, although I have scaled way back on this due to husband not being able to go outside with me as much as he once could.Who knows though, I might develop some new hobbies in the future.

    Go here to see what other's hobbies are.

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    I Am NEVER home alone!

    Today's prompt in the 31 day Blogging Challenge is "What do you do when you are home alone?" I laughed out loud when I read this. And then inside I cried a bit. Because, you see, I am NEVER home alone. Do I want to be? Maybe. What would I do if I were home alone? I probably wouldn't do anything much different that what I do now. Except, if I were alone, I wouldn't have to stop typing and take care of my beloved husband. If I were alone, I wouldn't have to get up off the couch to adjust his blankets, give him a drink, or help him up to the bathroom. If I were alone, I could hold the remote control in my own hands and turn the TV to the channel that I want to see.

    There will be plenty of time for me to figure out what I am going to do if I am ever HOME ALONE.

    In the meantime I am anxious to see what other women do when they are home alone...let's go see here

    It's a Party

    I have never attended a blog party but it sounded like fun. So I joined up with the BlogLovin' Blog Hop. I also just switched over from Google Reader to BlogLovin'. If you are interested in doing this go here, read all about it and then sign up. It is really easy to just import all the blogs from Google Reader to BlogLovin'. I tried a couple of others, Feedly and Netvibes, but so far I like Bloglovin best.

    I found the Blog Hop Party at Kathe with an E so hop on over there and sign up and then start to follow some blogs as you hop along....I have discovered some that I really have been enjoying.

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013


    First of all, before I answer this challenge, I want everyone to know that yesterday my husband took a pretty sudden and serious turn for the worse. We had him up to the commode and he stopped breathing and I could not feel a radial (wrist) pulse although I could still hear a heartbeat with my stethoscope.  It was slow and faint. Drooping of his left eye and mouth makes me think he has had another little stroke. Or a vagal response. Was pretty scary for about 30 minutes. My brother was here with me. We called in the family and the grand kids. And lo, and behold today he is better. It has been a roller coaster ride, for sure. But I am thinking the end is getting nearer. Just wanted you all to know in case I disappear from my posting for a time. I will be back though. As I need this for my therapy and I would miss my blogger friends.

    Now on to what I am afraid of!

    I am afraid of mice. I am REALLY afraid of mice. I am so afraid of mice that I cannot even put a picture on this post of a real mouse. I had to chose a cartoon-type mouse. I can't look at a mouse on TV. I can't look at the picture of a mouse. I am wondering how I am going to make it through this post just talking about mice.

    I am not kidding. I am not talking about a little fear. Nope! This is a screaming, crying, heart beating fast, sweating, terrified fear of mice. If I see a mouse or talk too much about mice, then I have nightmares about mice. Scary nightmares about mice. The WILLARD type nightmares about mice.

    My husband says that I have a special "I have seen a mouse" scream that he recognizes right away. My sons used to laugh over the years about their mother's irrational fear of mice. I have tried to outgrow it. I have tried to deal with it. Nothing has worked. I am AFRAID of mice.

    I don't like dead mice any better than I like the ones that are alive. A dead mouse will cause me to panic just as much as a live mouse. Once, when trying to conquer my fear of mice, we had a particularly bad winter at our house and more than a couple of mice moved in. I wouldn't let my husband use spring traps to kill them because I ALWAYS heard that trap 'snap' and then I was frozen in fear until he got it out of the house. And he couldn't leave any traps out during the day while he was at work (I worked night shift and slept in the daytime). We decided to use those nifty glue traps. But he had to get them out of the house before he left for work. One morning he forgot. I was lying on the couch watching TV after a hard night at the hospital. Suddenly, I started to hear this loud squeaking noise. And I noticed a glue trap moving down by the TV. Now what the HELL was I going to do. There was a LIVE (although trapped) mouse right there on the floor next to the TV. Was I going to bed? Nope. It might follow me. I know, I know. Irrational! I told you so.
    So I got my husband's heavy leather work gloves from the garage and put them on. I grabbed that glue trap off the floor. So far, so good! I ran like crazy out to our garbage can, lifted the lid, tossed the thing inside and ran like a wild woman back into the house! My heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest as I stood there holding that door shut. As I began to calm down, I realized just how stupid this was. That mouse was not going to get off the glue trap, run up out of the depths of the trash can and chase me into the house. Irrational, I tell you.  I was pretty proud of myself for being able to do this. I called my husband at work and told him of this huge accomplishment. He wanted to know if I had stomped on the trap before I threw it away. HELL NO! And I also did not let him put another one of those nasty things in our house.

    Thankfully we haven't had a mouse in the house (ha! ha!) for a few years. But I am pretty sure I will be just as afraid of them as always.

    I am going over to Tiffany's and see if there are any others who have irrational fears such as mine.