Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

I cannot believe it's been over three years since you have left us.  It seems like just yesterday.  I've got so much to tell you, I just don't know where to begin.  I remember this picture fondly, of you in your wedding gown just before marrying Dad in March of 1969.  I wasn't even born yet, but one doesn't have to be to look into your wonderous eyes and not feel the elation you were going through.  You and dad sure didn't have it easy, but you never gave up.  For that, you will always be my hero.  Below is a pic of you and dad at the alter.  If you look close, you can see the red splotches on my dad's face from nerves.  He was sooo cute!!

Too bad the pic was in black in white and you can't really see the splotches.  You would be happy for him, I think, Mom.  He now has a new woman in his life, named Gina.  I think you would approve.  She has all the nice qualities that you possessed...kindness, tenderness & generosity.  She treats Dad well and he treats her well.  We will never forget you, Mom, but at least Dad isn't so lonely anymore.
Grandma is doing well, but we both miss dreadfully our California beach trips.  We must have went a million times, but each time it was different.  Between feeding the hungry birds their stale bread we collected for weeks before, to falling all over the whale just can't be beat.  A fond memory for me was Grandma slipping on the escalator at Ralphs in San Diego.  She for the life of her could not get up, so Mom bowed her head and said, "Let us pray, God."  We got to laughing so hard what when the escalator had hit the top, we could barely get through the store.  I'll cherish forever all the stories of a time well before MY time.  I love hearing about our family and will carry those stores wherever I go.

Frankie is doing well, had another operation since you've been gone.  It was a big one, and he took a long time to recover afterward, but he is on his road to recovery.  I just worry about him so, picking his skin to oblivion.  It's a nervous tick we are trying to get to the bottom of, so if anyone knows how to stop it, please contact me ASAP!!
Frankie's family is doing well.  I can never pay them back (or Grandma, either!) for all they've done for us since your death, Mom.  I can seriously say that if it weren't for them, we'd probably be gone, too.  So thank you, Schranz's from the bottom of my heart for taking me in like one of their own.

Mom, I've had a hard time since you've been gone.  For a long time, I was mad at God for not helping you.  It's taken me months to figure out that He HAS helped you - by taking you out of your misery.  That still doesn't stop my heart from going over the last week of your life.  I will never get over thinking I missed something I shouldn't have.  Or did I work you too hard with the travel nursing? It was hard work packing and unpacking for three months at a time and then moving on.  Maybe I wore you out.  I hope not.  I no longer am mad at God or think I made your death happen....but I still carry around hurt and missing you in my heart.  I think I always will.
Mom, you would be so proud of me, losing 100 lbs since my bariatric surgery in April, 2011.  I still have a ways to go and it was a long, hard road what with complications of diverticulitis and nausea and vomiting at every turn, but I think this six month mark is doing me good.  My stomach is getting stronger with spices.  I just have to be really careful.  And I think about you, how you took life's challenges head on and didn't stop until you completed the task.  If I could be HALF the woman you are, I will be happy.
I see in the picture of my mind, you at work at Medic One Ambulance as a 911 dispatcher.  You didn't let anything get in your way.  You went to work NOT on your two feet, but being pushed in on an office chair when the arthritis was so bad you couldn't walk.  That takes dedication!!
I am in the process of hunting for work soon, Mom.  I think I'm ready to go back to nursing, which is what you always wanted me to do.  You never let me give up in myself, even after I long gave up myself.  You were an amazing mom, one that will be in my heart forever.
I love you, Mom and I always well, no matter how much time I have left on this Earth.  I want to spend each day on the Lord's path and let Him guide me to the future he has laid out for me.  I promise to do my best and follow in your footsteps.  They didn't lead down an easy road, but whoever said life was easy?
May your star shine bright forever, Mom and may you fly on wings of Angels.  You sure worked for it and you deserve it.

Jack is doing well, too.  He misses you, though, I can just tell.  I'm now his "surrogate" mommy.  I feed him, give him water and play with him.  I remember you trying to teach him "no biting" when was a year old.  And you would sing to him the "Daisy Song" that he just loves.  He perches his ears when I sing and NOT in a good way.  How rude!!  Silly kitty!!!  But he gets in lots of purr time.  :0)
We are now heading for the third Christmas without you, Mom.  Or maybe not.  I'll set a place for you in my heart on your favorite holiday, Christmas.  I never thought I'd get this far without you around, but now I know that you are forever inside my heart.  And death doesn't reach there.
Forever love and I miss you terribly,
Your one and only daughter,

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Fall!

Ah, Fall.  I remember it very well.  I grew up in a small community on Lake Michigan called St. Joseph.  I honestly loved every season on Lake Michigan, but my very favorite was rustic Fall, with its billowing trees of yellow-orange leaves, the air tinged with smoke from burning piles of leaves on fall lawns and going on hay rides (even though I broke my glasses at one when I was a teenager) at Love Creek, which was a charming park of walking trails for as long as the eye could see.  Oh, how I miss those days of Fall of my youth.  Arizona is a charming state with its majestic mountains, but Fall just doesn't get here like it did in Michigan.

Sorry I haven't been blogging too much.  I actually haven't been on the computer too much.  Just haven't been in the mood.  I've been pulling out old books in the ole' Kindle and reading to my heart's content.  When I have been on the computer, it is just to check my e-mail or to look at the online bariatric support group.  I joined one awhile ago after going through my period of "bariatric blues."  Ever since the surgery, I just haven't been interested in food.  Nothing tastes good, nothing even sounds good.  I have so many rules, it's not funny.  I'm supposed to eat this, I can't eat that, do this, do that.... on and on.  I'm supposed to eat so much protein, it comes out the top of my head!!  Figuratively, of course....anyway, I don't want to even think about it.  So I read instead!
My mom, in front of Lake Michigan, in the fall
   My mom loved to read.  In fact, I am reading some of her favorite books.  She loved Janet Evanovich and the adventures of "Stephanie Plum."  I used to balk at that and didn't read them when she wanted me to.  Now, I'm embarrassed to say that her books are dynomite!!  I've loved every one and am looking forward to her latest, number 18, that is coming out in October.  What a great fall read!!  How I wish Mom were here so I could discuss with her some of the funniest escapades that Miss Plum would engage on....
The beginning of Old Towne St. Joseph
I hope you all have a great Fall season.
May all your leaves turn a beautiful rustic shade of red, orange, brown and gold.  Enjoy every leaf...especially for those in areas where Fall is not greatly Southern AZ!!!!

God Bless,
Thanx, Gina, for my new fall siggy!!  :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Save A Cat on Facebook

Save A Cat on Facebook:

'via Blog this'

Howdy, everyone!!! Here is a special post I'm doing "on-site" of "Save A Cat" on Facebook! I'm virtually fostering a lil' lady kitty named Iris who lives in a shelter in Glendale, AZ. Please help out at Save A Cat and earn points that will add up to cups of REAL food to save shelter cats! Isn't that a fantastic idea? I've even added my resident kitty, Jack to my profile. So you can visit him there, too! Please check it out!!!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Good Golly!

Howdy, everyone!  I am just SO embarrassed to show myself around in here.  I re-read the post I did the other day, (when I thought it was Wednesday but it was Tuesday) and just about died!  First of all, there were so many typos.  I'm such a perfectionist.  Secondly, I got the year of my mom's death wrong (it was 2008, NOT 2003) and thirdly, I almost screwed up my whole blog by redecorating it and deleting things I still needed!!!  My comments are a mess.  They don't show up on the blog, but I saw them in the settings for Blogger.  I use a platform called "Disgus" for my comments and accidently deleted it, so it wasn't available to visitors to use.  They used the Blogger platform instead.  I fixed the problem and added the Disgus widget back onto the blog, but now it won't import the comments from Blogger! And just when things can't get anymore screwy, I deleted my networked blog widget and had to put THAT back on!!!  Do I have a brain?  I think NOT!!!!  I need a vacation to a tiny remote island where I can sit in a beach chair, under a palm tree with a drink with a tiny umbrella in it.  Do you think that would work?  Knowing my luck, the WORST hurricane known to man would come!!

Thank you so much for commenting on my post about my mom.  One visitor had asked me how I do it, survive without my mom, and the answer is: one day at a time.  And when it gets really hard, one MINUTE at a time.  I can't believe it's been over three years since I last heard her voice, her laugh and felt her hugging me.  It tears me up inside.  It's like a giant wave that overwhelms me and then goes back to sea and gives me a  little peace.  Losing her was the hardest thing I have faced in my life to date.  And I do agree with Heather (a blog buddy of mine who recently lost her mom, too) that they are up in Heaven shaking their heads at us.  If my mom could have read that post I butchered so badly, she would have been on my case for sure!  Her favorite subject was English and she took great joy in pointing out my typos!  :0)

I went to the rheumatologist recently and he lowered my dose of Savella to 25mg twice a day and added 600mg of Ibuprofen three times a day.  My fibro has been so-so.  I still get those bad pains in the legs from the neuropathy and the medications do little to stop it.  My primary care doc is in the process of weaning me off the morphine.  I was on 200mg a day, now it is 160mg a day.  My back is the usual horrible.  But I want to return to work soon and don't want all those medications hanging over my head.  It just wouldn't look good, would it?  Perhaps I'm nuts to think that way!!!

I hope everyone has a great day and thank you for reading my posts.. no matter how many typos I do!!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I know, I know.  I screwed up.  Or we would just say that my Wednesday is YOUR Tuesday!!  I don't know what came over me.  I've been so scatter brained these days.  Let me tell you, my mom, if she hadn't already died, she would have KILLED me for posting that picture.  I couldn't resist.  She was sitting the motel chair after dislocating her hip and had to have surgery on it.  Well, to make a long story short, she couldn't get out of the chair.  We huffed and puffed and still her bottom wouldn't leave the chair.   I had ONLY one option and that was to call the fire station to come and help us heft up her out of the chair.  Could I help it if they were FINE looking?  My mom was so embarrassed that she couldn't wait for them to leave.

That whole trip was a disaster from start to finish!  For one thing, I was very obese in the 400 pound rang and could hardly breathe. Then mom goes and she is so weak that needed helped held to the bathroom.  I remember crying like a baby in the ER.  Here I was, alone, 1000 miles away and all the decisions had to be made by ME!!  My dad and husband where in Tucson, getting  really to come to San  Antonio to live.  Don 't give me wrong, it's a pretty city with lots to do, but we didn't feel like seeing anything that day.  I noticed my mom getting weaker after the  operation to reset her hip.  I had clinicals for 8 hours a day, so I'd take my lunch break back to the motel and help her to the bathroom and get her something to eat.

Then, she got STUCK in the chair and couldn't get out.  I tried all I could think of and even called my dad, but he said if she was really stuck, and couldn't move, then I should call for help.  The fire truck pulled up and I thought Mom would die on the spot when they were coming in and heaving her out of the chair.  But, boy, did she feel better!!  And then it happened again!  The fire department (same crew) came and rescued her a second time.  She never sat in that chair again.

Over the next week, she got weaker.  I noticed that with her other hip and knee replacements, she got STRONGER, not weaker.  The morning I called 911 to take her, she was talking gibberish and to even to her dear father.  The paramedics weren' t very nice, though, kept saying, "what can we do about it?"  Plenty, jerk wad!
They finally loaded in into the amubulance and I followed behind like Parnelli Jones.  I don't know San Antonio very well, afer being just almost 2 wees there.  I DO love the "turn out lanes" for idiots like me who don't know what they are doing!!
Luckily the hospital was a short distance away from the motel and would be were I would be working.

In the ER, they did the best they could.  Her white cell count was basically non-existent and she had horrible pain in her legs.  I couldn't do anything but sit and watch my mother suffer.  She told me to go home and rest and come back in the morning.  I obeyed my mother, but I wish I hadn't.  That was the last time I saw my mother as my mother.  When I returned the next morning, she wasn't doing well.  Trouble breathing, her heart kept giving out and they were starting CPR.  I remember trying to find a freaking parking spot and being scared out of my mind.  Here my mother was dying in a building that I couldn't find a parking space for!  I finally did find one and was greeted at the door with a wheel chair for me.  At 400 pounds, I had a little difficulty breathing and walking at the same time.

They took me outside her room and told me the grim situation.  Her kidneys have shut down (causing hallucinations) and lack of urine, her heart had to be restarted 3 times already and they couldn't keep her pressure up, despite three IV blood pressure medications.  It was grim indeed.  And the came the hardest question a person could ever be asked:  "If her heart stops again, do you want us to restart it?"  Luckily my mom and aunt from College Station just got there and grandma was telling me, "honey, even if they DO bring her back, she won't be the same.  You'd have to put her a nursing home and that is even harder than death.  My grandma is a tough ole' gal.  She's gone though death all her life, with her father dying with a brain tumor in his 40's, her mother in her 80's and then her husband to Alzheimers and a stroke in July, 1993, at age 72..  I thought every carefully.  What would she want?  My heart instantly new what to do.  "No, she would not want that, to be hooked up to tubes.  Just let her go."  I thought my crying would never stop, especially when we said goodbye to her.  I kissed her cool cheek and never looked back.  I knew if I did, I would never leave.

My mom went to be with our Lord Jesus on July 8, 2008, 1 day after her 60th birthday.  It just isn't fair!!!  I was mad at God for a long time for taking her, then I started feeling a peace over me that she was no longer suffering with arthritis and Lupus.  She was finally free and could fly the skies to her heavenly home.  We should all be so lucky!  There are many ways to die, and hers was in a peaceful manner.  She just let go of her spirit and she woas gone in the human sense.  In the psychological sense, she will NEVER be gone from my heart.

Grandma helped me in so many ways those first few days of signing papers, getting a morturary to cremate her and she would nag at me to eat.  I believe I could have lived off the land for 20 years, but she insisted.  Then I started the long journey to Tucson.  I had NO clue what to do next.  We put our things in a rented storage facitity in San Antonio and haven't had the money to get it back yet.  In that stuff are very precious items to me:  my mom's Precious Moments figures, her purses, her books, her glasses.  And all our furniture.  We are going to save up and get it all back and move into an apartment of our own.  I will be looking for work, soon, I hope.

I heard from Gina yesterday, and things didn't go well on the way back to Oklahoma. I'll leave the details out, it's Gina's story to tell, anyway.  But dear ole' dad is in Michigan.  I think he is just scared about being with someone that isn't my mother.  I'm no Freud, but every time he gets close to someone, he blows it.
Please pray for me and for Gina during this rough time.  I hope they can work it out.  I'll end this post with a picture I took when I was much thinner with my mom and grandma at her trailer in Michigan:
                                            3 Generations of Craziness!!
God bless us all.  And forgive me for my Wednesday post on Tuesday.  Now I won't have to worry about tomorrow!!  :0)

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

This is the last photo I ever took of my mom.  We were in San Antonio as I was going to a new nursing job and a few days after this picture was taken, she died of acute kidney failure.  I love and miss her more than any word could ever say.

Good bye, Mom.  I will always remember you.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sharp Dressed Cat

Howdy, everyone!  Hope you all are having a pleasant end of summer.  It has rained here yesterday, but as usual, it doesn't stay for too long.  But it was glorious when it lasted!!!

I had a doc appointment yesterday and I didn't lose any more weight.  I've hit a plateau, I think.  My hubby and I will be hitting the gym!  I did take a recent picture of myself, though.  Here it is:
Not too shabby.  Even if I don't lose another pound, I'm proud of how far I've come.  It's been a rough road, what with the nausea, heaving, diarrhea, diverticulitis, the whole bit. And we can't forget that dreaded protein drink I have to have everyday!!  But it's worth it.  I can now fit into 3x clothes and don't have to go to a tent shop for a shirt anymore!  LOL!

My sister-in-law was so sweet and she made Jack a new "coat" and sent it to me.  At first, all he would do would lay down and not pose for me.  Then he got used to wearing it and was his usual self.  I took some cute pics of him in his new attire.  :0)
Isn't he a cutie?  And boy, does he know it!!!  If you want your pet to have this, visit my sister-in-law's site called "Rockindogs" at  You won't regret it.  She has many designs and colors and is always full of fresh artistic designs.  She's the best!!!  Thank you again, Patty!  And Jackie thanks you, too.

Nothing much else going on here.  I hope you all have a great week and be safe!  I pray for my dad and Gina who are on the road going back to Oklahoma.  I hope they have a safe and sound trip.

Big hugs to all,

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Howdy, everyone!!
Sorry I haven't been so good with updating the blog.  It's been such a long, hot summer!  Not only that, but ever since the surgery, I haven't gotten my stomach back!  I think it's working TOO well.  Take today, for instance.  I just got back from the Ford dealer, as my in-laws invited my hubby and me for burgers & hot dogs at their new dealer.   They just bought a kick-butt Ford Escape.  Anyway, I had half a burger and it felt like I ate the whole grill!  I had a few sips of Mt. Dew (nothing much because of the carbonation & gas!) and that about did me in.  It's been a few hours and it feels like I just ate.  I can't even go out to eat anymore!!!  I can't complain, though.  My last weight, after my car wreck, was 257lbs.  I will be getting weighed again this coming week.  I'll have to get a picture up here.  It's really coming off!!

My diet these days is yogurt and skim milk and some chicken, when I can tolerate it.  I kid you not, that is what I've been eating these days.  That bout of diverticulitis has left its mark.  Enough about that!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!  Today he is a young....whatever!  :0)  He is recovering well from his broken collar bone.  I don't know if I told you, he had a nasty fall and that is what happened.  Poor guy!  He sure knows how to live it up in Oklahoma!  From what I hear, that is going to be his NEW home pretty soon.  I'm very happy he has found his soul mate in Gina.  I'm happy to include her in the family now!!

That is pretty much all that's happened here.  Still hot, but we did get a little spitting of water from the sky this morning.  I pray for those that live on the East Coast and have suffered from Hurricane Irene's wrath.  Hopefully all those roads and power have been restored.

Here is a picture from the past: My dad and I when I was about 25 yrs old and had first moved to Yuma, AZ.  Don't we look young and foolish?  Happy birthday, again, Dad and a good Labor Day weekend to all!!!
Just for the heck of it, here's some more from the past:

                                       My mom and dad.  Nice hat, Dad!
               My mom and I after buying my first new car, a 1995 Dodge Neon.
My I miss seeing that smile and that hat bobbing down the hall!!  :0)

Stay tuned...there's more from where that came from!!

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