Monday, August 27, 2012

Helpful News Indeed

My Mom's condition continues to be foremost on my mind.  My sister, Connie, and I talk at least twice a week, and when she visits my Mom at the care center, she calls me so I can talk with Mom.  My mother is not herself and it's been very difficult to speak with her.  I had been under the impression that she was, well, basically losing her mind as she was totally confused and speaking nonsense.  Since then, I have been told it is mostly the medication she is on that is making her so loony.  With that hope in mind, it was so wonderful to talk to her yesterday.  She was pretty much herself again, oriented to time and place, talking and asking about my kids, a lot like normal.  What a relief that was!  Apparently, it was nearly time for her pain medication which is the main culprit for her confusion.  I was fortunate to catch her at the right time.  She is also making progress as far as walking some and sitting up more often.  Her pain is also less.  I know there will be good and bad days ahead but every good day will definitely give us hope for her complete recovery.  And thank you for the kind comments, my friends!

We spent last Friday at the annual kite festival in Long Beach, Washington.  We look forward to it every year, especially when it happens to be warm and not too windy, like it was Friday (not our usual beach weather, for sure!)  The beach is full of colorful kites with competitions for stunt kite flying and things like that.  We took some photos (see below).  After walking the boardwalk, we went through the small town, visiting a local coin dealer (a hobby of ours) and ending up at a place to ride go-carts.  Chad took a spin around the track and looked quite pleased with himself.  We have attended this festival every year since we moved here, except when Chad was just 3 weeks old (I wasn't up to it!) and it has always been a fun family time.  Except for that one year when Alec was just a toddler.  We were out in the sand, among the kites, with Alec a few feet ahead of me.  Suddenly, a kite bigger than Alec came crashing down a few feet ahead of him!  It stuck into the sand like a huge sword.  I grabbed Alec lightening-quick - everyone around was so startled and glad he wasn't hurt.  I think I spent the rest of the day thanking God for sparing my small son.  Since then, we mostly stick to the boardwalk, sometimes flying our own kites along the edge.  But never again will I venture out where the big kites are - we learned our lesson that day.

It may be the longest beach in world (that's what the sign says) and it's awesome to see it covered in kites.  This is just a slice of beach.  It was voted America's Best Boardwalk more than once.

I loved these rows of frogs, can you see the blue crab in the lower right corner?  We also saw caterpillar balloons the size of diesel trucks.

Carmen and I swam with an orca ...

Alec shows just how much he's grown this summer.  Carmen didn't like the sun in her face.  The orcas were good about posing for us, though.

Chad, taking the lead.  Didn't crash once (unlike his mom when she was a kid!)

Friday, August 17, 2012

And So To August

O.k., let's recap ... Chad is now 17.  He had a nice birthday, getting a trip to the Oregon Zoo out of the deal, as well as a battery for his car (courtesy of his father).  His car, a 1966 Volvo Amazon, is sitting quietly in our driveway, awaiting the day when it can roar to life.  It needs some work and Chad needs his driver's license so the Amazon will have to be patient.

Todd turned 1/2 century.  We all spent the day in Portland, where Todd bought clothes for me at Nordstrom.  It's what he likes to do. We had a good time together, Portland was warm so we enjoyed some summer there.  We had dinner at the Nordstrom cafe, which we love, and had Sees' candy for dessert.  Todd got a box of his favorite candy to go.  And he doesn't look a day over 49!

Todd and I have now been married 24 years (and 11 days).  We had a nice anniversary, lunch at a favorite restaurant overlooking the Columbia river and went for a drive afterward.  Surviving this kitchen remodel has definitely been a marriage challenge.  It's a good thing I'm so flexible.  Don't tell him I said that.

The bad news is that my Mom's situation has definitely changed, for the better and for the worse.  For the better in that my sister and my Mom are now over the problem that I mentioned in my last post.  But my Mom spent several days in the hospital last week, and is now in a nursing home, with no real certainty that she'll ever go home again.  Big sigh.  My sister, Connie, has gone above and beyond what any of us could have done to take care of my Mom.  This is the first time in her life that I've seen her be there for my Mom (and Connie is 63!)  In some ways, you could say it's Connie's turn, as my other two sisters and myself have each had our time of caring for Mom at different times in her life.  I'm just so thankful she is able to do all that she's done for Mom and I tell her so every time we talk.  In fact, I've never, ever talked to Connie as much as I have in the last month.  My Mom fell and fractured two ribs as well as L6 in her spine.  She's been in a lot of pain but seems to be doing better this week.  It will take a long time for her to heal.  There are a few other health issues as well.  We pray for her every night.  A long road ahead.

Todd is working on the pantry ... well, actually he removed the pantry and it's just an empty space at the moment.  I still haven't posted any photos.  This summer turned out to be busier than I expected.  It's hard to find time to blog.  But I have found time to bake with Carmen - she's fearless in the kitchen.  I love it!  She gives me courage, actually, as I have little confidence in the kitchen.  We made apple pockets (like turnovers) and she was so proud.  She's bookmarked several recipes in some of our cookbooks that she wants to try in the future.   It's so fun to have a partner to cook with!